top of page

How to Build Economic Independence, Self-Esteem, and Social Empowerment through Ethical Fashion!

Updated: Jan 25

Meet the Makers of Bega Kwa Bega, a self-help group for single women providing social empowerment, skills training, and an opportunity to showcase their craft through ethical fashion brands

women in green dress showing A Mimco Brand Bag
A Mimco Brand Bag

In the bustling city of Nairobi, Kenya, a group of determined women faced immense challenges as single parents struggling to provide for their children. In their desperate search for a better future, they turned to prostitution to make ends meet. However, their lives transformed when they joined Bega Kwa Bega. This self-help group gave them social empowerment through ethical fashion by getting skills training, and an opportunity to showcase their craft.

Today we highlight the inspiring journey of Karen Achien'g Anyango and the incredible work of Bega Kwa Bega, a valid symbol of sustainable and ethical fashion.

Bega Kwa Bega Sign
Bega Kwa Bega Sign

Empowerment Through Skill Development

Karen Achien'g Anyango, a resilient member of Bega Kwa Bega, shares her powerful story of transformation. This self-help group empowered her with batik, tie-dye, weaving, and beadwork skills. The group became a platform for these women to regain control over their lives, fostering a sense of pride and independence. Through training and mentorship, they honed their craftsmanship, transforming their creativity into tangible art forms.

macrame handes being made
macramé handles being made

Craftsmanship Showcased Abroad

One of the most empowering aspects of Bega Kwa Bega is the opportunity for these talented artisans to have their work showcased and sold abroad. Their unique creations reach global audiences through partnerships and collaborations, allowing the world to appreciate the beauty and skill invested in each piece. By purchasing these ethically crafted items, individuals become part of a powerful movement, supporting the livelihoods of these women and contributing to sustainable fashion practices.

Artisan Fashion made necklaces
Artisan Fashion made necklaces

The Value of Knowing the Makers

Karen Achien'g Anyango emphasizes the significance of knowing the stories behind the products we own. She believes that when we understand the journey and resilience of the artisans who create these pieces, we find far more value in the items themselves. The connection between the maker and the wearer becomes a meaningful bond, transcending material possessions and celebrating the human spirit.

Woman of Bega Kwa Bega
Woman of Bega Kwa Bega

Bega Kwa Bega: A Beacon of Hope

The Bega Kwa Bega Self-Help Group represents a shining example of how ethical fashion can change lives and uplift communities. By empowering women with skills and providing them with a platform to showcase their craftsmanship, Bega Kwa Bega promotes economic independence, self-esteem, and social empowerment. Their work challenges the prevailing narrative and proves that beauty and strength can arise from the most challenging circumstances.

Artisan Fashion Group with Simone Cipriani
Artisan Fashion Group with Simone Cipriani from Ethical Fashion Initiative

Karen Achien'g Anyango's journey and the inspiring work of Bega Kwa Bega exemplify the power of sustainable and ethical fashion. These women have transformed their lives, transcending adversity and embracing their creative potential. By supporting Bega Kwa Bega and other similar initiatives, we contribute to a world where fashion catalyzes positive change, empowering individuals and uplifting communities.

About Artisan Fashion:

Transparent Artisanal Partnerships:

Innovation, Collaboration & Shared Inspiration

"We emphasize the potential and importance of capacity-building frameworks for trade opportunities on behalf of marginalized communities. Through the enhancement of artisanal creativity and production capacity, we create employment opportunities and economic development" from

About Ethical Fashion Initiative:

Explore the Ethical Fashion Initiative's partners around the world:

"The Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) is a flagship program of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. EFI reduces global poverty by linking micro-producers and artisans to the international supply chain of fashion, facilitating dignified work at a fair wage. EFI supports local creativity, female employment and empowerment, and gender equality. EFI collaborates with creative social enterprises such as GIE CABES in Burkina Faso and Mali, Artisan.Fashion in Kenya, D.O.T in Haiti, Kangaroo in Ethiopia... EFI partner brands include Vivienne Westwood, EDUN, MIMCO, Stella Mc Cartney, Brother Vellies, United Arrows among others." from

Impact report from Mimcos partnership with EFI
Impact report from Mimcos partnership with EFI

To hear from the founder of Ethical Fashion Initiative, watch and listen in on IFD's conversation with Simone Cipriani from our Ethical Fashion Festival

To learn about brands working with Artisan Fashion, check out a few of Ethical Fashion Initiatives' partner brands. By shopping and other ethical brands, you are supporting the makers behind the products and their livelihoods.

Brother Vellies Brand
Brother Vellies Brand


Mimco Brand Campaign
Mimco Brand Campaign

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood with Artisan Fashion Bags
Vivienne Westwood with Artisan Fashion made Bags

Thanks for reading today! Have other suggestions or questions? Reach out to let us know

Know someone who would like this article? Please share!

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the know and see all our featured makers, along with industry insights & inspirations!

Britta Cabanos seated in gold outfit.jpg


Hey there, lovely fashion friends! My name is Britta Cabanos, and I'm thrilled to have you here! 


I'm a 25+ year fashion industry design professional, and I'm passionate about supporting conscious designers, ethical makers, and sustainability. I believe that fashion can be a powerful force for good, and I'm committed to helping aspiring fashion industry pros make their mark in this exciting and ever-changing field. 


If you share my passion for conscious fashion and sustainability,  then you're in the right place. I offer industry insights, mentorship, connections, and resources to help you achieve your goals and make a positive impact in the world. Let's connect and explore the possibilities together - are you ready to join me on this exciting journey?

floral email header.png

Thanks for joining us!

Follow IFD Elsewhere

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Linkedin

Don't miss out on the latest industry insights, resources, and updates! Sign up for our newsletter today and be the first to know about our exclusive offers, upcoming events, and new content. Join our community of fashion industry pros and enthusiasts and take your career to the next level. Simply enter your email below to stay in the loop. We can't wait to connect with you!


Consciously & Ethically Designed

love drool header.png
conscious design Ian paterman.jpg

About the Book

"Conscious design is a philosophy used at the Peterman Design Firm. We use it to create brands and products that restore and sustain our planet. The Peterman Method for conscious design is the culmination of Ian’s 15+ years working in product development and Jessica’s 20 years in working as a healer and studying regenerative technologies and tools for both people and our planet. Together, we’ve written this book to lay out a culmination of our combined experiences. Our goal is to help other people start looking at the world, and design, in a more conscious way."