NICOLE MILLER GOES TO RWANDA
Indego Africa is a social enterprise that empowers Rwandan women through fair-trade partnerships, access to global buyers, and skills training. A core piece of the organization’s model is focused on collaborations with high-end retailers, where goods are hand-crafted in its partner co-ops for the international market.
Indego Africa empowers Rwandan women through fair-trade partnerships and skills training.
By facilitating a sustainable business model for small African communities, Indego Africa is able to provide literacy, business, and computer-skills training so the women can further their escape from poverty. “Rather than inventing a new market,” Conor B. French, the organization’s chief operating officer, tells Ecouterre, “Indego Africa is simply plugging our artisan partners into this high-value existing market while concurrently administering business training that removes significant barriers to entry —both structural and personal—that might otherwise prevent them from accessing it on their own.”
The products are made in two Rwandan towns that were most affected by the 1994 genocide.
The Nicole Miller/Indego Africa collaboration began in 2010 with a line of textile-woven bangles, with the addition of two wrap skirts and three shorts this summer. The products are made in two Rwandan towns that were most affected by the 1994 genocide, where tens of thousands lost their lives. “I can say that I have been deeply moved by the way Nicole and her team honor and nurture the unlikely creative bond that has been forged between them and these talented Rwandan women,” French says.
With their continuing partnership, Nicole Miller and Indego Africa aren’t just creating pieces with a meaningful past but ones that also contribute to a brighter future.