In a country fraught with struggle and strife, hope has a new name: KeoK’jay. The socially conscious enterprise offers handmade, fair-trade designs with style to spare, while providing jobs for HIV-positive women in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. KeoK’jay’s woman-empowering business plan has room to grow, too. It’s one of 64—and counting—nominees for Nau’s 2nd Annual Grant for Change, which will award $10,000 to the next big thing in sustainable design.
From dresses and T-shirts to tote bags and hand-embroidered napkins, all of KeoK’jay’s designs are created with Ma Earth in mind. Organic cotton, hand-woven recycled cotton, and secondhand fabrics are the heart and soul of all the pieces, topped with vintage embellishments and splashes of all-natural dyes.
KeoK’jay’s designs are made from organic cotton, hand-woven recycled cotton, and secondhand fabrics.
KeoK’jay currently employs nine HIV-positive women, who get to work from home on their own schedule. But the job benefits go beyond the women alone. With a consistent income, their children can attend school, ending the poverty cycle so many are stuck within. KeoK’jay also works in association with Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope to provide free healthcare to its employees and their families.
Currently only available by e-mail order or in select shops in Cambodia, KeoK’jay adds fresh meaning to philanthropic fashion. Best of all, it provides its artisans with something money can never buy: dignity.