For centuries the fashion industry has celebrated the consumer at the expense of the workers. From the beginning of Parker Clay, we’ve placed the same value on our workers as we do on our consumers. By doing so, we’re making visible the invisible threads that bring us together.
At Parker Clay we are proud of our ethics and our aesthetic. We know you don’t have to sacrifice one without the other, which is why each of our products is made ethically, sustainably, and with purpose and integrity.
For too long Ethiopia has been a destination for aid, but we believe it’s time to make Ethiopia a destination for trade, and the stories unfolding before us make this truth evident.
Stories like Meselu’s. Meselu is a dear friend and one of the first people I met in Ethiopia. She was young when she became pregnant with her child. She was forced to go to the streets and work in prostitution in order to provider for her son, but it was her dream to see him one day go to school. I met Meselu for the first time while volunteering at Ellilta Women at Risk. I remember one morning when I came into work, she found me and took me over to her work station. She was clearly excited to show me something. She pulled a blue card out of her purse but it was all written in Amharic, the main language of Ethiopia, and I could barely read it, but I finally figured out that it was her son, Eyob’s report card. At the bottom of the card it said 1/44, meaning her son was first in his class. We both had tears in our eyes, and it was this moment that I realized this was beyond just giving a woman an opportunity. It was impacting the next generation that would one day be leading the country of Ethiopia and changing the world.
In light of this story, we created the Eyob Pencil Case, like many of our products that commemorate moments of personal connection, stories of our journey & the paths we cross.
Our vision is that you don’t need to compromise or choose between a premium product and experience over the value of people. How products are made is important, it’s important because the lives of people are at stake, people whose lives matter. Free trade, fair trade, ethical fashion, or conscious consumerism. These are more than buzz words. They are the language of a movement.
Let us be a global community that fights for the value of those most vulnerable, and we would add, as a conscious consumer without compromising on the quality and style that we love, both can exist together.
We invite you to join us in reconsidering the choices you make on a daily basis that will not just satisfy you wants and desires, but also celebrates the value of people behind what we purchase. There is an African Proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
Let’s choose to go far, together, because each and everyone of us is worth it.
See our CEO and Co-founder speaking recently at TEDx about Fashion on Purpose.