Ashoka and C&A Foundation have identified the first cohort of five social entrepreneurs for the Fabric of Change fellowship to nurture solutions to fashion industry challenges. The joint initiative supports innovators at various stages of their development, unlocking the unique potential of social entrepreneurs and their solutions to advance a shared vision.


          Fabric of Change fellows have the vision, creativity and perseverance of entrepreneurs, but with a focus on solutions for the good of all. They are contributing to industry transformation in ways that enable everyone along the value chain to thrive. Fellows will benefit from a lifetime of support from Ashoka’s network of peers, changemakers and partners. Based on their needs, they also receive a financial stipend for up to three years to accelerate their development.


          Ashoka and C&A Foundation have selected the following innovators whose work has inspired the collective vision for the Fabric of Change Initiative.


          Kohl Gill from LaborVoices, US, is addressing the lack of transparency in global supply chains and giving workers a voice through real-time reporting about labour conditions. Gabriel Rivera Zambrano from Altitud, Mexico, is creating new opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs through an alternative model of textile production with better labour conditions. Ashila Mapalagama from Sri Lanka has established the ‘Stand-Up’ labour movement and an alternative insurance system for garment workers.


          María Almazán belonging to Latitude in Spain is re-invigorating the European textile sector using an ecosystem approach to drive sustainability throughout the value chain, and working with cooperative factory networks, brands and consumers to adopt new models for purchasing and consuming. Shaikh Saif Rashid launched APON - a multi-stakeholder worker wellbeing scheme to ensure the wellbeing of Bangladesh’s 4 million garment factory workers.


           “These five Fabric of Change fellows are also Ashoka fellows. They are among the world’s most creative and upstanding social entrepreneurs in and they have tremendous potential to create impact. We are thrilled to be building such a strong cohort of fellows with the Fabric of Change initiative. Ashoka’s global network will help them collaborate and bring their ideas to scale, and to realise sustainable positive impact on the apparel industry,” said Stéphanie Schmidt, managing director at Ashoka.


           “We are deeply inspired by the creativity, ingenuity and tenacity of these five fellows. Through the Fabric of Change partnership, C&A Foundation is proud to support their work and to enable access to the expertise, networks and resources they need to refine and scale their innovations,” said Brandee Butler, head of gender justice & human rights at C&A Foundation. 


Source : http://www.fibre2fashion.com

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