In an era where globalization is the norm it has become easier to know where your products have come from, with the simple click of a button you can get to know the inspiration behind what you’re wearing , yet the larger our market becomes, the faster we are detaching this invaluable feeling. Learning the story behind your items is an invaluable experience and lets you cherish your pieces even more, with Kipato Unbranded, I got to have this experience.. finding out the story behind the jewelry I am wearing in all the pictures was one great experience and has helped me cherish this art that has been created. I want to share with you this experience because it would be too selfish not to! So come uncover Kipato Unbranded with me 🙂
Kipato Unbranded was a product of a simple dream to create a brand that is ethically responsible and can help create sustainable development on the lives of people that have been disadvantaged. For Marta, the Founder, the relationship with Kenya and Africa as a whole has been a long and adventurous one! With her work in the development field for over 15 years now greatly tying to the visions of Kipato Unbranded! She has lived in rural Tanzania for 2 years and rural Kenya for 2 years while having worked in the most remote and difficult areas. She lived in Ethiopia as well and has travelled all over Africa – including doing humanitarian work in Sudan, and studying abroad in South Africa. “Africa as a continent inspires me and is where my heart is. Kenya is where my home is.”
The inspiration behind Kipato Unbranded – and the people who made it – is to quite simply help people. Summarized in the tag line ‘by everyday people, for everyday people’. They have empowered artists from disadvantaged backgrounds in order to help them succeed in their lives, this entails both professionally and personally. Artists that work side-by-side with Kipato have a unique relationship with the brand- they help create the designs, get to work with other artists, and they know about how Kipato runs and develops every step of the way. They are aware of Kipato’s progress and what is needed to reach various markets and clients.
The founders of the brand and the artists have a close relationship and this has formed the base of the brand; being a family of sorts! Kipato is here to tell the stories of the artists – not only the products they sell. The income artists receive from this business model (50% of returns go to the artists themselves) enables them to improve their lives significantly. “Our artists are our partners in the business (rather than employees), in every sense”. This allows artists like Elijah and Ojiko to develop their skills from more than just jewelry making and has truly allowed them to reinvest in themselves!
The brand hopes for a brighter future for the artists and a brighter future for Kenya and wider Africa. Improved lives for the brand’s artists; education for their spouses, siblings and loved ones. Better homes that are situated in better living conditions – especially in terms of access to adequate sanitation, electricity, water, etc – the list goes on. For a more dignified and humane life that the artists can be proud of, that they can accomplish their goals and ambitions.
For Kipato, as a business, they envision ethically responsible growth – “we do not aim to be competitive solely in the private sphere, hence being a social enterprise. Our goal is not to hit the ‘international’ jackpot of a million orders a week, a workshop full of employees, and sky-rocketing prices. We envision partnering with outlets with our same vision and mission: fair prices for fair wages, respect and dignity for ALL – including those that make your accessories so you can look beautiful at that amazing party. We envision a vibrant and creative Kenya and wider Africa that can promote their local artists – a socially conscious generation that cares about its’ people and the future of its’ country. We envision a more socially just world. We envision breaking down the barriers between producers and consumers – to empower the everyday person to understand and stand together as one with those less fortunate. We envision fair trade – an ethically responsible era that will question cheap labour that is needed to produce products for mass consumerism with incredible profit margins for capitalist giants”.
Although only a few months old, Kipato Unbranded has set the standard for ethically responsible brands in the fashion industry as a whole and 2016 is their year! Check out the Kipato Unbranded Website and they are even offering 15% off your first order of beautiful jewelry with a beautiful story!
For these looks I styled the Basic collection which is made all out of brass with a red evening gown from Mango that I have had for so many years but never worn, it has found its match in these beautiful pieces!
For the recently launched Savannah Collection, which has pieces made out of recycled bone, beads and brass I made a black dress to let the jewelry stand out while still keeping things elegant, the best part I can easily switch up the outfits and wear these as everyday pieces!
Red dress: Mango (similar), Jewelry: Kipato Unbranded- Basic Collection
Black Dress: DIY, Jewelry: Kipato Unbranded- Savannah Collection
Pictures: Aleena Rupani