Sabahar: Championing an Age-Old Craft

Sabahar: Championing an Age-Old Craft

Nestled into a beautifully kept garden hillside, Sabahar’s production facility serves as the launch point for nearly two hundred artisan jobs in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Founded by Kathy Marshall in 2004, Sabahar embodies the motto “slow not fast.” Kathy is building a sustainable business for the weavers of Ethiopia to utilize their age-old craft. Sabahar provides economic lift for a previously forgotten portion of the workforce. Rather than looking to cut costs by taking advantage of cheap labor, Kathy seeks to bestow honor to the Ethiopian weavers. In beautiful symbiotic fashion, women spin out the natural fibers and men work the weaving looms. Together they create innovative, hand-spun woven goods with age-old production techniques.

Kathy works with her artisans to increase their individual production efficiencies instead of seeking to replace them with automated alternatives. Handcrafted products cannot survive in the fast-fashion craze, which means the artisans who produce the goods have little to no job security. Nonetheless, Kathy is motivated by delivering beautiful products, created by people, for people. Because of her investment in her people and her efforts to champion a traditional craft, an entire group of workers previously underemployed now has stable jobs. Through these jobs, families have more stability and children are given the opportunity to stay focused on school. Supporting the artisan employer is supporting the artisan family, and we love supporting family.

INTERWOVEN orders from brands like Sabahar to vote for the kind of world we want to live in. We bring the demand we can to ethical businesses like Sabahar because they have worked so hard to dignify their employees rather than use them. Together, we can vote with our orders to bring slow fashion to the mainstream. We can buy beautiful, on-trend products with confidence because people like Kathy and the Sabahar team value the person on the other end who created them.  

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