Andrea Abury & Adam French - ABURY Collection

Finalist of the The Trickle Up Most Socially Responsible Handbag


2017 Finalist Andrea Abury & Adam French ABURY Collection

Andrea Abury & Adam French FINALIST'S PROFILE

What country are your bags manufactured?
Marrakech, Morocco

Please explain how your bags are socially responsible?
Fashion, like art and music, defines how we see the world. It has the power to be a catalyst for compassion and social change. This collection was designed to be representative of the Moroccan community and culture, telling its story and acting as an ambassador for intercultural understanding. The materials selected are all locally produced in Morocco. Leather tanning has a long history in Marrakesh, employing local families for generations. The ‘Sabra’ cactus silk lining is another traditional Moroccan craft. This is a highly specialized traditional skill that must be done by hand. The craftsman with whom we created and now produce this collection are paid at a level sufficient to enable their own economic success as craftsmen. They earn $5 per production hour which is more than double the local average. This provides them with the capitol to grow as independent operators and contribute back to their own community as responsible employers. The ABURY foundation returns 50% of collection sales profits to various social projects in the area. These include a school for adolescent girls, help for craftsman with cataracts, building schools, playgrounds, water pumps & solar panels. By working with local craftsmen to facilitate their current success, we enable the future successes of an entire community.

Do you work with local/native artisans to design your bags?
While I was in Marrakesh, I worked with a team of craftsmen for two months to decide the best ways to accomplish the quality & style we mutually appreciated. We continue to work together communicating with messages, pictures, & videos to solve technical challenges and a team member visits them in person every 8 weeks.

Working Conditions. (Are the manufacturers/artisans that are being employed being treated humanely, of age, and working in safe and acceptable conditions? Please explain)
The artisans we work with all operate from their own homes or shops and are responsible for their own production schedules and management. We often visit with them to discuss production issues, innovation, and workplace safety, and we regularly consult with them regarding what they feel is a fair value for their work. These actions support the circular & sustainable development of the local craftsman community by promoting their economic independence.

Why did you choose this country to have your bags made and what made you decided to give back?
As the 2016 winner of the ABURY Design Experience, I was sent to Marrakesh, Morocco to work directly with the artisans. The ABURY Foundation has supported various projects in that area for a number of years, and I quickly saw the numerous ways they where using fashion to promote and enable the local community. I believe that fashion has the unique ability to effect how people see the world at an emotional level. When I met the people of Marrakesh, particularly craftsmen like myself, I was moved to create something as beautiful as the culture that inspired it. The Abury team works to find creative and innovative ways for fashion to contribute to the social good, and I am very proud to be part of that. We believe that together we can change the world through design.

Bag Description
Brand: ABURY Collection Style name: Asmaa Silhouette: Laptop bag / Tote carry Retail price: $380 USD The 'Asmaa' leather business bag brings color, joy and functionality to your work life. A laptop, document holder, pencil case, make up (and even a spare pair of sneakers) will all fit in this business tote to make your day easy. Everything is stored securely with a zippered top and opens to a silky interior with three open patch pockets to organize small items like cell phones & notebooks, as well as one large zippered pocket. Each bag is detailed with two removable tassels, double tasking as key chains

See other finalists from the 2017 handbag awards