“I’m an artist at heart. I prefer to be described as an artist as opposed to a designer because I like to dabble in all kinds of art and craftsmanship but it’s very, very important to me. The way we express art as humans is a very innate and personable act. It’s actually a way of us sharing who we are deeply as individuals with the world, and whoever we choose to share with.”
Geneva, 15th April 2021: The Ethical Fashion Initiative’s Ethical Fashion Podcast launches the fourth episode in its second series, today April 15th. ‘Woman Power’ features an artistic interview with Margaux Rusita of the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s inaugural Accelerator Programme for African Designers.
Rusita is the founder of Margaux Wong, a Burundi-based sustainable, ethically-produced jewellery brand quickly gaining global appeal, and one of many designers on the rise in the country’s creative scene. Bujumbura is blossoming with artists, musicians and designers that are using the power of self-expression and creativity to connect, and to pave the way for a luminous future in Burundi.
The episode is all about ethically-produced fashion and art, but primarily touches on Burundi and the emerging opportunities within its borders. The designer explains the challenges in finding artisans who are skilled in traditional techniques, how she’s found it possible to succeed at both motherhood and entrepreneurship through “passion, love and perseverance” and how Burundi will learn to appreciate art once more.
Simone Cipriani (Founder and Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative (“EFI”) and Clare Press (Sustainable Journalist and Writer), return to host the second series of the Ethical Fashion podcast, first launched in June 2020 to champion the power of discussion and explore the issues driving the ethical fashion conversation. The new series focuses on African stories in light of the EFI’s work on “creating jobs and regenerating the social capital in some of the most challenging environments, which is something we started doing in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2018” says Cipriani.
About the Ethical Fashion Initiative
EFI is a flagship program of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. For the Ethical Fashion Initiative, lifestyle choices impact livelihoods. EFI creates and strengthens social enterprises in emerging economies to connect discerning international brands in fashion, interiors and fine foods with talented local designers, artisans and micro-producers. Savvy investors, pro-poor champions and mindful consumers find value in a virtuous circle that creates not just premium products, but also stable, dignified work, and creative and resilient women, men and communities.
The EFI’s Identity Building and Business Sharing Initiative showcases creativity and talent in fashion and beyond, in an effort to strengthen the culture sectors including art, photography, cinema and music. Operational in seven dynamic new countries — Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Mali, Uganda, Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan — this chapter of EFI works in hand with leaders from the private sector to generate trade and more importantly, social capital. Find out more at http://www.ethicalfashioninitiative.org or on Instagram @ethicalfashion. This EFI Identity Building and Business Sharing Initiative is funded by the EU.