Ethiopia is home to one of the oldest civilizations and some of the finest natural resources on Earth. It's led to some pretty incredible traditions, perfected over the centuries – coffee brewing, cotton weaving, and yes, leatherworking, are just the tip of the iceberg.
Trade > Aid
Despite that legacy, Ethiopia came to be considered one of the world's charity cases – starring on TIME Magazine covers and in teary-eyed commercials for years. Donations and dollars might help in the short term, but socioeconomic transformation doesn't come from a free pair of shoes. In fact, that just means one less sale for the local shoemaker.
We believe that living wages, safe workplaces, and educational opportunities go further.
Here's Our Challenge
in prostitution in Addis Ababa
26% of Women
are unemployed in Addis Ababa
4.6 Million Children
are orphaned in Ethiopia
With few opportunities for education, professional skill development, or vocational training, many young women are forced into coercive, exploitative means of providing for themselves and their families. Girls as young as 8 years old believe that they are chasing opportunity, only to end up trafficked or enslaved.
Together, we can create a future without exploitation by attacking the root of the crisis.
Where We Come In.
At Parker Clay, we hire at-risk women, pay living wages and benefits, and provide skills training, career advancement, and financial literacy opportunities to all of our employees.
Since the formation of Parker Clay, we have partnered with an organization called Ellilta Women at Risk (EWAR), with a goal of restoring independence to women who have been exploited through prostitution, ultimately fighting to end prostitution in Ethiopia. They have successfully graduated over 1,000 women through their program, with over 90% of the graduates being able to remain free from prostitution.
Our Partnership with EWAR operates beyond the traditional charity model and extends into the skills training and job creation opportunities that are made available at our factory in Ethiopia. Parker Clay has developed methodologies to create economic opportunity, leveraging a trade model built out of mission.
Why it Works.
It starts from the source.
We purchase our raw materials from local, sustainable ranchers.
Addis Ababa is a market city and trading hub for the surrounding agricultural lands, much of which is dedicated to cattle ranching. Many of these ranches are family-owned and operated, and have been for decades. Thanks to your demand for high quality, sustainably raised, and ethically sourced leather, we can pay top dollar – encouraging these local ranches to meet that demand. End result? World-class leather, safe and clean facilities, and ranchers receiving a fair price for their efforts.
Parker Clay is a Certified B Corp
B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Empowered Women Change the World
Employees in Ethiopia
Have Never Had Sustainable Employment
Are Being Empowered
Fashion on Purpose
For centuries the fashion industry has celebrated the consumer at the expense of the workers. From the beginning of Parker Clay, our dream was of a future where the same value to consumers existed while also providing deep and lasting value to our workers, making visible the invisible threads which bring us together. We aim to celebrate people on both sides.
Our labor contracts are based on USD to protect from currency devaluation.Text
We protect our workers from inflation by reevaluating the cost of a basket of goods and services each year.
Through our Center of Excellence we provide training & a path to progress for our employees to reach their full potential.