Thursday 24th April marked the first anniversary of the horrific tragedy of the Rana Plaza in Savar, Bangladesh.
During yesterday's Fashion Summit in Copenhagen the tragedy of the Rana Plaza and working conditions of the fashion industry workers worldwide on the agenda. Norwegian Leila Hafzi was one of four brands that got a recognition for their work during the Designer Challenge.
In 2007, Hafzi discovered an amazing project in Bangladesh, led by the Norwegian couple Karen Marie and Torbjørn Lied. The couple Lied came to the country in 1973 after the civil war in which the former East Pakistan became Bangladesh.
The couple came to support with Santal tribe, especially where women lived in poor conditions living in the Rajshahi district. By starting a cooperative where women could use their knowledge and earn money at it, let the couple foundation for a secure and lasting employment for women in this district . Most women are farmers, but the possibility of additional work through the cooperative provides a much-needed contribution to the family economy.
The women receive training in a cooperative, working from home afterwards , so they also have the ability to take care of home and family. This ensures women a safe life.
Laces developed by the women of the cooperative is also a highlight of Leila Hafzis new bridal collection that is available from May 2014 .
Livia Firth, creative director of Eco Age Ltd and one of the foremost advocates of ethical and sustainable fashion, says this about Leila Hafzi . "Leila is a true pioneer and it is so beautiful to see intricate ethical lace used in her beautiful clothes now. To know that the lace has been woven by women in Bangladesh under her mentor ship and care, is even more special."