Antoine Didienne, is the President and Linda Amaro, the VP of Operations for Vavavida. Vavavida sells, “Ethical and unique fashion accessories dedicated to empowering women, fighting gender inequality and creating change in the fashion industry.”
Their tagline reads, “A Fair Fashion Coup”. Antoine explains why they are setting their sights on fashion, “ Most of the garment & jewelry industry is made up of women and young girls who are often taken advantage of.” Vavavida wants to fight that and have an active role in changing the way the fashion industry is run today. He believes that this is where they can have the greatest impact, working with women in fashion.
Their 3-5 year goals are ambitious. Antoine is working towards a measurable, sustainable change within the industry that requires the major labels be held accountable for purchasing from ethical suppliers. He’d like to become an expert, a major resource within the cause’s community disseminating rallying information by way of speaking engagements and their blog.
For Vavavida he intends to create their own designs working with local refugee artisans associated with the San Diego based Project Concern International – Women Empowerment organization.
Linda is driven to get the word out about Vavavida, promoting the artisans’ handmade jewelry, bags and scarves because as she said, “If we don’t sell their work their children don’t get fed.” She sees this reality as motivating just as, “witnessing women working in less advantaged situations and succeeding is motivational”.
Everything they purchase is fair trade and a portion of their profits go to PCI’s Women Empowerment division. Their vision is this, “We imagine a world where everyone is empowered and able to provide for their family and community.”
Their goal is to empower women to make their own way because as Antoine put it, “It’s easier to pull yourself up by the bootstraps when you have bootstraps.”