Ryane Murnane traveled to Ethiopia in 2009 to adopt a baby boy. To her surprise, she fell head over heels for both the country and the people whom she met on her journey. Ryane knew immediately that she wanted to find a way to give back to the country that gave her a son.
Fashion that Gives Back
Do you see this beautiful scarf around my neck? –> It was made by Alem Ababte, a member of the Former Fuel Wood Carriers Association, Mount Entoto, Ethiopia.
Shortly after returning from Ethiopia, Ryane co-founded the Connected in Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization which was developed as a social enterprise to address the needs of women in Ethiopia. The organization works with 60 women who weave beautiful scarves and baskets by hand that the organization sells in the United States. These women once had to transport heavy bundles of fuel wood (75-80 lbs at a time) more than ten miles down mountains to sell in their wares at markets in Addis Ababa for a profit of less than $1 per day.
Their goal is to provide these women access to international markets as well as to support, encourage and train them to earn a sustainable and predictable income through sales of their hand-woven items. To that end, 100% of the profits on the sale of the scarves are re-invested in programs to support the women and their families, such as a preschool for the children of the weavers. They also hope to continue to raise funds so they can open a small library for the children and even a health clinic.
I am giving one scarf away to a lucky reader! The winner will get to choose the scarf of their choice from the Connected in Hope store at http://store.connectedinhope.com/. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling us which scarf you would choose if you won.
I am also honored to be working with the Connected in Hope Foundation to offer readers a 10% discount on scarves using the code MARBLES at checkout when you make a purchase at http://store.connectedinhope.com/. Can you even think of a more meaningful gift than one which is both beautiful and gives back? Buy one of these fashionable scarves for yourself too!
By the way, the scarf I am wearing in the photo above is the Infiniti scarf in Merlot. You can find it here: http://store.connectedinhope.com/infinity-scarves/merlot-infinity-scarf.
* Disclosure: I am both honored and proud to be working with the Connected in Hope Foundation. They generously sent me a scarf for writing this post and hosting the giveaway.