Whether you’re into cabin chic, modern nautical or sporty and sophisticated, our new home collection is full of good-hearted goods to perfectly complement your décor. Beautifully hand-crafted from responsibly sourced materials, these artisan-made accents add a unique touch, while supporting small businesses in communities around the globe. So go on, give your abode an upgrade with better ethics for every aesthetic.
The continent of Africa, comprised of 55 nations, boasts a wealth of talent, natural resources and artisans who are putting a modern spin on generations-old techniques. Increasingly, their goods are coming to the global market via improvements in infrastructure and the expanding reach of the internet – driving important socioeconomic growth in a region long afflicted by poverty and political instability, and introducing the rest of the world to Africa’s beautiful handiwork and diverse aesthetics.
We’ve curated our favorite high quality artisan-made goods from Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and elsewhere, featuring naturally sourced materials imbued with the colors, textures and traditions of their native countries. From decorative accents to enliven your living space to stunning statement accessories to give your look a unique touch, these special pieces bring the colors and crafts of Africa home – all while supporting their makers and driving positive change in their communities.
Set the table with teak and olive wood
locally sourced in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa,
accented with pops of color.
Whatever you choose to put in them, these heirloom baskets –
handwoven by women artisans in Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana and Kenya
– are full of joy and meaning.
From sophisticated horn to mudcloth textiles,
make a modern ethnic statement.
From chic shapes in earthy neutrals to bold
beaded baubles, Africa has a jewelry genre
Fun and philanthropic, these handmade toys
make perfect presents for the little ones.
Featuring traditional textile art, masterful
weaving and enduring designs, these extras
are the real deal.
Rather than rehashing registry clichés, gift the couple something that’s as unique as they are.
Our wedding gift list is full of thoughtfully handmade, high quality options for every kind of bride and groom, curated from communities around the globe. Every item is built to last and bring good memories for years to come – plus each gift comes with a printed card explaining where it’s from and how it helps support artisans in the developing world. Now that’s love.
Make special spring moments even more meaningful with purposeful, compassionate presents. We’ve curated our favorite gifts for the season’s important holidays and celebrations, bringing together unique handcrafted goods that reflect their community of origin while helping to support their makers – a better way to commemorate any occasion.
CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund’s Ethical Favorite
Founded by rising style icon Aurora James, Brother Vellies is the new ethical fashion label you need to know this season. Named a winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund last year, this designer collection of handcrafted goods from South Africa, Kenya and Morocco is on every accessory lover’s lips thanks to a fierce fashion-forward aesthetic that evokes the African continent in locally sourced materials, wild textures and culturally inspired styling.
Artisanal & Aspirational
As seen everywhere from Vogue to The New York Times, the exquisite accessories from Brother Vellies merge an advanced designer aesthetic with earthy, elegant materials for a new signature look in ethical fashion.
While other brands might discard imperfect animal pelts, Brother Vellies takes a more thoughtful approach, making the most of every single piece according to traditional African practices.
By using wild, ethically sourced skins and hiding blemishes through careful positioning, Brother Vellies embraces a waste-not, want-not mentality and celebrates the occasional flaw as a unique memory of the animals' lives in the wild.
Each Brother Vellies item is entirely handmade by local artisans in the brand’s workshops in Africa, where makers receive fair wages and training from other skilled artisans – promoting the preservation of craft technique while facilitating economic development through job creation.
Goods are made to order, which eliminates excess inventory, reduces the number of energy-consuming machines on premises, and maximizes employment numbers and employee satisfaction. Plus, the fact that they are limited edition means you’ll be wearing something truly distinctive.
Originally launched as a footwear brand – its name is a reference to the velskoen, a traditional South African desert boot – Brother Vellies now offers a wide range of covetable shoes and sandals, including these attention-grabbing spring styles. Artisans in the brand’s Kenya workshop achieve brilliant color on the dimensional bows and strappy uppers by hand-dyeing leather with saffron and other natural elements, rather than a chemical dye. Other materials used in shoemaking, including organic cotton, are hand-dyed with natural tints like indigo.
Many of the brand’s shoes are assembled at its workshop in South Africa, a welcoming, diverse space that employs skilled artisans of all genders, backgrounds, tribes and sexual orientations and utilizes craft techniques honed over many generations. As each pair is entirely hand-made, using minimal machinery, they are able to produce a few dozen pairs per day.
Slow Fashion with Instant Appeal
Brother Vellies’ shoes are made exclusively from genuine, sustainable materials and carefully constructed to last for many years. Each pair is designed to be re-soled once the original soles are worn out – which is great news since you’ll want to keep these show-stoppers in your closet for as long as possible.
In the United States alone, an estimated 350 million pairs of shoes made from synthetic materials – including vegan leather – end up in landfills each year. By contrast, many Brother Vellies shoes are made from a base of repurposed Kudu leather, an animal byproduct stemming from the government’s mandate to reduce overpopulation. By making the most of these skins, the brand honors those animals, eliminates waste, and does away with the need to manufacture other unnecessary fabrics.
Made in Africa, Brought to Brooklyn
All Brother Vellies styles are sent from the workshops in Africa to the brand’s Brooklyn headquarters in bulk cargo shipments to ensure the minimum carbon footprint with maximum style impact.
Can’t get enough? Neither can we. We’re already craving these showstopping sustainable accessories from the Fall 2016 collection – a standout at New York Fashion Week.
This season, lighten up your jewelry box with charming, cheerful pieces handcrafted with compassion from environmentally friendly and sustainably sourced materials.
Our edit of spring styles is full of color yet sleek and chic in feel, mixing bright gems, rich hues, natural materials and gleaming metals.
From elegant everyday essentials to statement-making must-haves, let these new jewels put a smile on your face while adding good-hearted glitz to your look.
These linear wonders – hand-shaped from horn and brass in skill-sharing workshops in Kenya and artisan cooperatives in India – are a unique take on spring’s stripe trend, and support their makers in a trade, not aid approach. (It’s a straight line from your purchase to their profit!)
Delicate, responsibly sourced natural horn strikes an even more elevated note when combined with polished brass. These luxurious pieces are the perfect complement to spring’s sophisticated bohemian attitude.
Fresh springtime shades are the focal point of these delicate everyday essentials, featuring handset multicolored stones. All are made by skilled craftsmen and –women bridging the gap between traditional techniques and wearable modern design.
These casual, colorful fair trade accessories add a dose of cheer to any outfit, while supporting artisans from Guatemala to Ghana with sustainable incomes and the opportunity to advance their craft.
If you add just one item to your jewel box this season, make it a head-turning statement piece sure to have people asking where it’s from. (Answer: all jewelry below is hand-made by artisans in emerging economies, where equitable direct trade with online customers is enabling stronger, healthier communities.)
Perennial favorites, these layered necklaces and bracelets effortlessly enrich your look with texture and dimension while empowering artisans in Kenya and beyond.
By popular demand, we’ve expanded our leather collection to include more neutral tones and classic shapes, so it’s easier than ever to find ethical versions of your go-to essentials. These natural neutrals - from ivory to soft grey to buttery shades of caramel and tan – are all handcrafted from environmentally respectful materials and built to last, improving with age and wear, making them spring’s smartest investments.
From sleek wallets and clutches to totes and cross-bodies with serious fashion cred to the comfiest, chicest mules, find your shade and feel good knowing your fashion staples are sustainably made.
The fashion set’s favorite mule, a Rachel Comey signature, is spring ready in polished stone leather. Or opt for an updated version featuring a woven upper and stacked heel.
Both pairs are ethically made in Peru in a palette that plays well with other colors.
These timeless silhouettes have a trend-right sensibility, thanks to designer detailing – like oversized tassels and polished hardware – that takes them into fashion-forward territory.
All three styles, in rich, expressive leather tones, are handmade by African artisans from locally sourced and naturally treated materials.
With bold stripe patterns, unexpected cutouts and fringe detailing, these statement totes add a welcome dose of interest to an otherwise simple silhouette.
All detailing, from knotted straps to vegetable tie-dyeing, is done by hand using traditional and eco conscious techniques.
Sleek, chic and modern, these envelope clutches have a minimalist vibe and a soulful feel – each one helps guarantee artisans a safe place to work and a living wage. Made from responsibly vegetable dyed leather in a rainbow of neutral hues and a few accent pops of color, you need at least one of these in your everyday carryall
Our design partners in warm climates excel when it comes to making stylish, functional and comfortable sandals. In exciting spring neutrals from chambray to saffron, these natural beauties – handcrafted in Morocco, Lesotho, Kenya, and Ethiopia from highly durable materials — add exotic flair to any outfit.
Our unique takes on the ubiquitous bucket means you can carry this important trend on your own terms. These distinctive styles in three classic shades go from casual to dressy without missing a beat, designed from durable suede and leather to get better and better with frequent wear.
Our best-selling, well-priced backpack is a daily necessity, now back by popular demand in three versatile colorways. Each bag is made by women artisans in Ethiopia who are employed at a fair wage, and who handcraft each bag from locally sourced, vegetable tanned leather chosen as an eco alternative to chromium dyed leather.
Proving that trend-right and socially conscious can definitely co-exist, these designer accessories provide an instant outfit update while helping to empower local artisans in Peru and Madagascar with economic independence. Made from high quality wicker and crocheted raffia, spring’s most coveted basket bags are whimsical, sophisticated and – with crossbody straps and cotton lining – fully functional.