After a recent trip to Nakuru, Kenya, designer Ryan Clements was disheartened by what he saw. He found a population where more than half is HIV positive, a community filled with orphaned children, and a slum comprised of women who gather food, shelter material, clothing, and footwear directly from refuse. The situation was bleak. It was there, in the Gioto Garbage slum that Ryan Clements decided to produce his handbag line Fashion. Love, Africa.
Directly inspired by the bags the slum women were producing themselves, Clements began designing and purchasing the handwoven satchels from the women, thus supporting their craft as well as their community. The artisans gather, clean, and disinfect the materials, eventually weaving them into bright and colorful shoulder bags. The women receive a steady source of income from the line and $10 from each purchase goes back to the community via an international NGO established in Kenya. Below is my favorite bag, and note that each bag is named after the women who made it! This one's the "Leah!"