Scarves by FashionABLE + Alt – Vote!

March 20, 2013

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[ UPDATE: Voting is now closed. ]

By Gabrielle.

Okay, Friends. I think this is my last report about Alt Summit. And it’s a good one! It starts in Ethiopia last October, wanders to Salt Lake City last January, and will finish up around Mother’s Day in May. It’s about scarves, and design, and doing good in the world.

I’ve mentioned FashionABLE scarves a couple of times, but I’ve never really dedicated a whole post to them. When I went to Ethiopia with ONE.org, we spent some time at the tiny, tin-roofed, FashionABLE factory. The women who work there are former commercial sex workers and the company recruits them by going out in to the streets, talking to the women one by one, training and providing jobs for them as weavers, and supporting them as they build a new life.

I picked up an armload of their gorgeous scarves at the factory to give as gifts when I returned home. Each comes with a hand-written note from the weaver!

Alt Summit - Alter Your World

Cut to January’s Alt Summit. In a few months, Alt Summit will be launching Alter Your World, a social good arm of the active and hard-working Alt Community. To introduce the concept of Alter Your World, we thought it would be cool to connect the Alt Community and FashionABLE and ONE.org at the conference.

So about 6 weeks before the January summit, we announced an open call for scarf designs. And even though it was smack in the middle of the busy holiday season, the Alt Community responded generously and creatively — over 100 scarf designs were submitted!

FashionABLE scarves for Alt Summit

The top designs were narrowed down to 10, and samples were woven on the handmade looms, across the ocean in Ethiopia. The 10 samples were narrowed down once again, and during Alt Summit, right before Stefan Sagmeister’s keynote, Alt Summit attendees voted for their favorite among the four top designs. (You can see four of us modeling the samples here.)

FashionABLE scarves for Alt Summit

The big prize? The winning design, created by and chosen by the Alt Community, will be sold in FashionABLE’s online shop just in time for Mother’s Day! The big deal? Knowing the scarf you designed/bought is providing jobs for women in need.

Just typing this up is giving me chills.

FashionABLE scarves for Alt Summit

It was amazing to see the scarf designs that were submitted, and think of the women who created them, and the women who would be weaving them. It was amazing to see the scarf samples in real life and witness how beautiful they were. It was amazing to watch the Alt Community vote on their favorite. And it will be amazing to see the Alt scarves sold in the FashionABLE shop — plan on grabbing yours fast, because I have no doubt they will sell out in a snap.

FashionABLE scarves for Alt Summit

And now it’s your turn. Today, I thought it would be fun to share the top 4 scarf designs with you, and let you vote on them as well — click on your favorite scarf in the voting box at top. I’m curious to see which one you choose!

P.S. — For voting, I’m using the Seesaw app. Have you tried it? My family is kind of addicted. Also, see gorgeous images of the FashionABLE factory here.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisette Wolter-McKinley March 20, 2013 at 11:08 am

I love their scarves!! After seeing your post around Christmas about them, I immediately ordered mine and have been wearing it ever since. Thanks for shedding light on this great company.

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2 Design Mom March 21, 2013 at 3:12 am

Lisette, I wear my scarf all the time, too. The version I have is just the right weight for spring, summer and fall.

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3 giulia March 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm

this reassures me that, whatever career we do, whether it’s medicine or design, we can still do good in this world:)

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4 Design Mom March 21, 2013 at 3:13 am

Great observation, Giulia. And I agree. There’s always a way to use your skills and talents to improve the lives of the people around you.

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5 Saoirse March 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Beautiful scarves and a noble cause. It would be wonderful to start some projects here in our own country to provide jobs for American women in need as well.

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6 Design Mom March 21, 2013 at 3:17 am

Agreed. And happily, there are some terrific projects that help women in the U.S. as well. Dress for Success is one that’s well respected. And some of the most effective are small, community-based organizations. If you do a quick search in your own city/town, I’m sure you’ll find programs created especially to help local women in need.

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7 Deb March 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Why don’t you start a project?

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8 Sharon @ Discovering Blog March 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I bought 2 scarves at Christmastime, and gave them as gifts. I might have to get one for myself now…

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9 Design Mom March 21, 2013 at 3:18 am

Sharon, may I suggest an Alt scarf? : ) Watch for it near Mother’s Day.

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10 Mama Mimi March 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm

I voted for the green one but really…you can’t go wrong with any choice! They are all amazing – as is fashionABLE!!!

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11 Design Mom March 21, 2013 at 3:20 am

It’s fun to see the voting, and how it differs from the conference. The conference was in the middle of winter, and the black scarf definitely got the most votes. But now, spring has arrived, and the spring colors are getting the most votes.

I’m assuming it’s the season, but then again, the design community does love the color black.

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12 Christi March 21, 2013 at 6:53 am

funny, voted and then read comments..I voted for the black- but maybe because spring has not sprung in Zurich..love all 4 though and hope they do all end up in the shop! great work and having traveled myself to Ethiopia it is nice to imagine the woman that purchases are helping.

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13 Stephanie Kraus March 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm

hmmm. can’t pick just one. love the scarves!

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14 Design Mom March 21, 2013 at 3:21 am

Stephanie, I can’t confirm the rumor, but I heard that all 4 top designs will actually be produced and sold in the FashionABLE shop. Wouldn’t that be great?

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15 The Sleepy Time Gal March 20, 2013 at 7:17 pm

what an incredible story and journey with these scarves. I love it all!

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16 Design Mom March 21, 2013 at 3:22 am

And I hope the journey continues!

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17 Isabel @alphamom March 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm

so fantastic! LOVE everything about this.

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18 Design Mom March 21, 2013 at 3:23 am

Isabel, I am determined to see you in SLC next January. I know you’ve been to Alt NYC, but Alt SLC is really the flagship event. I’d love for you to be there!

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19 Amy Hackworth March 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I’m so inspired by this project and the entire process. The best kind of design!

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20 Design Mom March 21, 2013 at 3:24 am

Thank you, Amy. I’m so excited to see the scarves in the FashionABLE shop. I really can’t wait.

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21 Sandra Gonzales March 21, 2013 at 8:50 am

I like the way something as simple as a scarf can make you feel like you’re part of the global thread. They’re all beautiful.

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22 Kellie Michelle March 21, 2013 at 8:58 pm

I love them all & loved hearing the story behind them. Now I’m off to vote! I think it’s the pink striped one for me. I love adding a pop of pink with every outfit!

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