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A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.



Fashion

May 1st, 2012

FEEDing the World, One Bag At A Time

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Written by: Jacqueline Shaw
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FEED is an ethical brand that sells bags, teddy bears, t-shirts and other accessories. Not only are the products beautiful and unique, but also with each product that is sold, up to 5 children in school are provided with nutrients and food for a whole year. The brand’s mission is to ‘create good products that help FEED the world’ and this is achieved through the sale of their products.

FEED first began in 2006 when founder Lauren Bush designed a bag to benefit United Nations World Food Programme’s School Feeding program. On her visits to Asia, Latin America and Africa, Lauren, who grew up in Texas, USA was inspired by the plight of the people she met along her travels. Lauren took a keen interest in WFP’s School Feeding program, which feeds and educates hungry children and her first creation, FEED 1 bag, an organic cotton bag distributed buy WFP to help raise funds and awareness on such school feeding programs. The reversible FEED 1 burlap bag, reminiscent of the bags of food distributed by the WFP, was stamped with “FEED the children of the world” and the number ‘1’ which signifies that one bag will feed one child in a school for a year. In 2007, both Lauren Bush and Ellen Gustafson founded FEED Projects LLC to produce and sell these bags, in order to help feed and educate hungry children.

Image courtesy of FEED project

Image courtesy of FEED project

The FEED 12 TOMS Classics is mentioned by Ecouterre online site as ‘Best Charity Collaboration Ever’ and we as good as agree. Featuring the traditional FEED burlap fabric, along with the FEED stamp logo, these limited-edition shoes introduce the first partnership of FEED project with TOMS Shoes. They are vegan friendly, using no animal products
with a canvas insole with cushion for comfort and a latex arch insert for added support. Available for both women and toddlers the FEED 12 TOMS Classics = 12 school meals + one pair of new shoes.

In 2008, Lauren launched her new fashion brand Lauren Pierce Atelier. She consciously sources fabric that is handmade by female artisans all over the world, most of which has been hand-dyed by women in Congo. The women’s wear line lives up to high environmental and humanitarian standards, while each unique hand-dyed piece supports women’s livelihoods and provides them with an income. The line has been sold in stores around the world, such as Barneys New York.

Image courtesy of Lauren Pierce

FEED takes pride in their use of environmentally friendly and artisan made materials, alongside fair-labour production, in creating all of their products. We at AFG are especially interested in the FEED Kenya products. The FEED 5 Africa Bag shown below is handmade by artisans in Kenya. The outside of the bag is made from  traditional burlap material, along with the “FEED the Children of the World” logo from the first-ever FEED bag, the FEED 1 Bag. The bag is lined with traditional African kitenge fabric. Each FEED 5 Africa bag provides 5 children with micronutrient powder for 1 year through the FEED Foundation’s Nutrients Fund. Artisans in Kenya intricately handcraft the beautiful FEED Kenya bracelets. This provides them with much-needed work, support and income to Kenyan communities particularly for a nation that is now dealing with a food crisis leaving 10 million Kenyans at risk of hunger.

Image courtesy of FEED project

Image courtesy of FEED project

Since they began, FEED has raised enough money to provide over 60 million school meals, solely through the sale of their products. They have since partnered with UNICEF, raising funds for a vital Vitamin A and micronutrient supplements program and provided over 46,000 children with essential nutrients. FEED has also started a non-profit organization called the FEED Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting programs and organizations that are effectively working to fight hunger and eliminate malnutrition throughout the world.
FEED is proud to help FEED the world, one bag at a time, and will continue to do so.

For more information, please visit www.feedprojects.com

All images courtesy of www.feedprojects.com and http://www.lauren-pierce.com/collections

Author: Natalie Nartay







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