When we made the decision to offer masks through our website, it was important to us that we partner with small makers who are bringing about good in the world and making a positive impact on their local communities. We applaud the resilience, creativity and resourcefulness we’ve seen from so many businesses that have shifted their business models and services in order to meet the needs for newfound essentials, and we wanted to join that effort.
It’s always been in our DNA to support artisans and makers with a story to tell, while being conscientious about quality, materials sourcing, fair wages and ethical working environments, but now these things seem more important than ever.
After multiple quick sell-outs of our beautiful Anchal masks, our Boston-based partner Gupta Media introduced us to Dawne Hoeg, the founder of Stitch Buffalo in Buffalo, NY. Hoeg started the organization six years ago as a community project for refugee women who had settled in the Buffalo area.
An instructor in the Textile and Fiber Arts Design Department at Buffalo State College, Hoeg saw an opportunity for these women to use and expand upon sewing and embroidery skills they had acquired in their native countries and in refugee camps, and at the same time bring awareness to the presence and value of the area’s refugee population.
“We’ve been able to educate our community about what the refugee population is and what it’s like to resettle, and the gift that these different cultures bring to our city,” says Hoeg. “Our pieces are truly a result of each woman’s creative expression, I think it really holds the expression of true creative freedom.”