Like most people I was horrified the first time I read about the inhumane conditions faced by apparel factory workers. My first reaction came in the form of anger and a vow to forever cut off all financial ties to companies whose employees were faced with the worst conditions. Although this made a difference in its own small way, I became so focused on attacking these companies that I completely ignored the problems that lead men women and children to seek work in such places. Poverty is often misunderstood. Most people, like myself, have the knee-jerk reaction of giving a fish; naked children, give them clothes; hungry people, give them food etc…Although this kind of giving is important in its own right, it easily creates the wrong mentality about what it takes to fight such problems. A lot of us have realized that in the long run it is more effective to give people the means to buy their own clothes rather than purchase clothes for them. In essence, trade goes further than aid.
If you’ve gone through this thought process, then you also know that unless you travel often, it is difficult to come across a wide variety of fashionable fair trade, socially conscious products. They seem scattered across the far reaches of the internet and small shops on the north side of some distant city.
Nkali is an Igbo (west African) word that means to overcome. The seal is a promise; we will bring you the stories behind the creation of the products we promote; we will tell you who makes the stitches and cobbles the soles; we will bring you news of products created to raise awareness and to what cause their proceeds are delivered. This is an ever-growing collection of brands that take responsibility for their creation. This collection will not be limited by geographic boarders because ALL oppression is connected, because good honest work whether in San Francisco or Nigeria should be celebrated as the rare bird it has become.
We believe that every purchase you make is a ballot cast in favor of the company that makes it.
This does not mean that everyone must throw out their entire wardrobe and start from scratch. Nkali is a challenge to recognize that we are all RESPONSE-ABLE. So whenever the spirit moves you, we hope that you will look to us to find and support products make a positive difference.