At the New York premiere of Breaking Upwards this month at IFC, Julie White walked the red sidewalk in the fetching emerald number pictured above. This was, of course, my big chance to say "who are you wearing?" and I flubbed it. Luckily, Ms. White spoke up: "Since you're the feminist gal," --guilty-- "...this dress is from a boutique on Fifth Ave. in Park Slope called Asha Veza, and all the clothes are designed and constructed by women in India and Bosnia...it's a womens' collective and it's all really cute."
Asha Veza was founded by Shanti Crawford, a human rights activist and designer in her own right who was born in India. As Julie White said, all clothing sold in the boutique was designed and assembled by designers in Bosnia and India (Asha means hope in Hindi; Veza is connection in Bosnian), or else handmade by women in India. Part of the proceeds from their sale are then funneled back in to training these women. The system works to build opportunities for women in both of these countries who are the victims of conflict and poverty, and at risk for trafficking and sexual exploitation. In the end, all profits go towards "sustainable economic opportunities for women with few options and little hope."
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.