We love fashion that gives back, and our latest find is Wakami, a philanthropic accessories brand on a mission to make a difference.
The ideology behind Wakami isn’t “charity” for the numerous women they have empowered in Guatemala; instead Wakami assists in finding a purpose in life for them and turning them into instruments of change for the community.
Founded by Maria Pacheco and Queta Rodriguez in 2006, Wakami had already become an integral part of some of Guatemala’s villages when brothers Eric and Ryan Dedola, who were scouting for raw material for a new handbag company, eventually met the founders and thus started Wakami USA in 2011- it was just meant to be!
The women that Wakami and its non-profit partner Comunidades de la Tierra empower have mostly given up their education to raise their families. This inevitably leads to them becoming secondary members in their households and dependent on their husbands. By providing them with an opportunity and training Wakami not only ensures the women their respect, but also the ability to be more confident in raising their children-the future generation for these villages.
However, Wakami doesn’t want its pieces to be known solely for their philanthropic impact, but also for the effort they apply in making sure each piece is a unique and beautiful work of art. “We are a design driven company rather than solely using our philanthropic cause to sell. Our products are made in a unique way with a wonderful story behind it but we really focus on making great designs and keep in mind all the trends” add Ryan.
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At Wakami each jewelry collection is born of different inspiration. What binds Wakami and helps it relate to its consumers, is that every piece is the result of the emotions we all go through. The names of the collections/pieces- “Dream,” “Earth,” “Life Is What You Make of It”- all help bind Wakami’s patrons in one thread of human emotions. The colors for the pieces are also carefully chosen, matched to the name of the style and the emotions it will elicit from its wearer.
This has included an incredible impact with malnutrition in children decreased by 30 percent within a year, and school attendance increased to 92 percent versus the traditional 50 percent.Wakami’s work extends beyond simple charity, Wakami aim to end the poverty cycle by implementing long term solutions, assisting individuals and turning them into instruments of change for the entire community.
They also have a big celebrity following with fans such as Vanessa Hudgens, Chris Hemsworth and Avril Lavignewho have been seen flaunting the designs alongside the many stars now advocating for socially conscious fashion brands.
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