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FashioNation

MEND BY INVISIBLE CHILDREN

A Revolutionary Fashion Brand Encouraging Customers to Ask: Who Made Your Bag? ®

February 2011

February kicks off Fashion Week in NYC. For 8 days we celebrate new collections, designer legends, trend leading celebrities and fashion icons, rejoice at the birth of new models, obsess over new accessories & Fall outerwear, are consumed with endless photographers and bloggers and race to survive fashion shows all day & parties all night.

But if there is a moment, one single moment, we’d like for you to: Stop, look at your handbag, your boots, your new wool trench coat and ask yourself, “Who actually made this?”

And the truth is, you’ll never know… with the exception of one fashion brand: MEND.  An accessories brand actually encouraging their customers to ask, Who made your bag?® Not only are they asking the questions, but they are featuring and celebrating the women who made your bag.

This fashion week and Valentine’s Day, treat yourself with a new handbag; a MEND handbag made with a name you now know and a story you can love.

MEND, a division of the revolutionary non-profit organization Invisible Children, is both a fashion brand and an educational program dedicated to educating and providing employment for the women of Northern Uganda.

Years ago, a relationship existed between vendor and consumer.  You knew who your money was going to, and saw how it was impacting their life. Doing business involved much more than acquiring a product; it involved building a relationship.

With that idea fading behind assembly lines and mass-production, MEND is inspiring a fashion revolt by encouraging customers to ask: Who made your bag? ®

Formerly abducted girls return home, often with children, only to be rejected by their villages. Even though free, there is nothing for them. MEND offers them a way to repair what was lost. The women proudly sew their name in each hand made bag. Not only do these women create fashionable and functional bags with pride, their employment allows them to provide for their families. Through MEND, the life of the consumer is seamed with the life of the tailor. It is simply a process rarely, if ever seen in the fashion industry.

MEND bags are available at select retailers across the country, sold across the nation on yearly on Invisible Children tours and available year round at INVISIBLE CHILDREN.  The new Treahouse Crossbody Bag is the latest handbag from MEND.

LINKS:

INVISIBLE CHILDREN

MEND

MEND ONLINE STORE


Special dedication to Laker Irene & her family.

MEND development is overseen by Chris Sarette, Vice President – Business Operations, Invisible Children.

MEND handbags designed by Marie Havens.

Written by Marie Havens

Photography by Marie Havens and Molly Milroy / Courtesy of Invisible Children

Design by Marie Havens

Captions:

Page 1:

Mother & Child, Uganda, Africa, 2009, Photography by Marie Havens

Page 2:

MEND Seamstress & Handbag Maker: Aber Rose proudly wearing the new Treahouse Crossbody Bag, Uganda, Africa, 2010, Photography by Molly Milroy / Courtesy of Invisible Children

Page 3:

Industrial Sewing Machine at MEND Tailoring Center, Uganda, Africa, 2009, Photography by Marie Havens

Page 4:

The MEND women proudly presenting the new Treahouse Crossbody Bag, Uganda, Africa, 2010, Photography by Molly Milroy / Courtesy of Invisible Children

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