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Able has a modern and relatable aesthetic, employing artisans globally and locally in Nashville, TN where they are based. What started with scarves has turned into an apparel brand with bags, jewelry, and shoes. I have some of their leather bags and apparel pieces and love them all not just for their superior style but also their craftsmanship. Another thing I love about ABLE is their transparency, in the fashion industry where our garments and accessories are made are wildly disconnected for most consumers, ABLE brings a new level of clarity to their manufacturing process by inviting the consumer to not only know where their products are made but how well they are paid.
ABLE is an ethical fashion brand that employs and empowers women as a solution to end poverty. We’re deeply devoted to quality – both in the products we make and the quality of life we aim to provide. We invest in, train, and educate women so they can earn a living, break the cycle of poverty, and thrive.
Women comprise 95% of our staff at ABLE, but globally they often hold the lowest-paid, least-secure jobs. Yet we know women invest twice as much of their income into their families compared to men. When a woman is economically empowered, her children and community thrive, making her crucial to eradicating poverty. ABLE is committed to ensuring every woman receives treatment and compensation reflective of her immense worth.
Our jewelry is all made in-house in Nashville, TN, and our leather goods, clothes, and shoes are made by manufacturing partners in Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and India. Around the world, we work with entrepreneurs who share our values. We’ve found that partnering with local community leaders results in a more powerful economic transformation rather than trying to command change from the U.S.
A fair and often critique of fair trade and ethically made styles is how global the looks are. This is not everyone’s taste or style preference, ABLE along with some other ethically made brands offer a more polished and timeless style while still being trend forward. While I constantly aspire to be more stylish, I’m a fashion blogger so of course, I also find myself drawn to more timeless and effortless pieces like those ABLE curates.
Publishing their Wages
What does transparency mean in the fashion industry? For those who don’t know on average garment workers are some of the most underpaid on the globe, we cannot combat or improve things if we don;’t have the data. ABLE as well as their competition NISOLO have partnered together for the last 2 years to publish their wages to the public and to be held accountable. By doing so, consumers are able to peek behind the curtain that shrouds the fashion industry as a whole.
Our driving motivation is to make a real, measurable difference in the communities we claim to impact. So we spent three years developing our own evaluation system—called ACCOUNTABLE—which evaluates our manufacturing partners on safety, equality, and wages in order to give us better insight into the impact of our supply chain on the women making our products.
Fashion is one of the largest industrial employers of women worldwide, yet only an estimated 2% of fashion workers are paid a livable wage. We want to change that, but we know one of the quickest ways companies will change their practices is if their customers demand it. We published our lowest wages in order to give consumers a clear choice to protect the people making their products, and we want other companies to do the same.
No, I can’t afford to add items to my wardrobe from ABLE every season. (Wish I could!) But when I can, I do and when I do I am supporting a brand that values women and a living wage for all their artisans, in the US and globally. If you want to help change the world support brands that value not only their consumers but also their artisans. Shop ABLE by clicking the button below, to support women artisans locally & globally.