Eagerly awaiting our new summer collection? So are we! Here’s a little bit about what’s been going on behind the scenes as we get our newest looks ready for you!
At NEVA, we produce high-quality activewear embroidered with inspirational phrases by female artisans around the world. By combining high-end activewear with global philanthropy, we’ve created a brand we call “Fitanthropic” with the ultimate goal of empowering our artisans through meaningful employment.
For our first line, hand-stitched in South Asia starting in 2013, that meant hiring women who had been living on less than $1.25 a day and paying them approximately 10x what they had been previously making. With their new wages, these women were empowered to buy groceries on their own for the first time, pay electricity bills, save for their children’s education funds and even buy their own sewing machines to continue to be able to continue to do meaningful work for the well-being of their families.
In 2015, we decided to move clothing production closer to home, creating a new line 100% made in America and stitched by women right here in the US. In America, the women we employ receive fair wages and a different kind of meaningful employment. Some are mothers and grandmothers who are seeking work that they are able to do from home, some are students looking for extra income, and many are immigrants who have just arrived in our country, seeking wages and experience that will launch their new life in America. Some have even been able to use their new wages to open their first bank accounts. We’ve been grateful to work with the Workforce Readiness Class at the Don Bosco Community Center in downtown Kansas City where many of our new American artisans have come to relearn the basics of working in a new country. The language barriers are difficult, but the women are kind, enthusiastic and hardworking. We have been surprised at times by the new difficulties presented by hand-embroidering our pieces in America, including the transient nature of our artisans, the greater cost of keeping our labor fair in the US and the challenges of finding and training women who have sometimes never hand-embroidered before. We are simultaneously pleased with the level of quality control we can keep in the US, the changes in font and color that we are able to pursue and the positive way that we can connect people directly to our products and our artisans from our own backyard. We are so happy to be teaching and offering what work we can, and we consider ourselves lucky to be learning from these amazing women along the way.
Stay tuned as we share our new artisan's stories over the next few weeks!
Sacha & Sara