1/7/11

Bloomberg Article talks about kate spade's future partnership with Afghanistan



This morning I found some interesting information about kate spade new york's involvement in women for women from a recent article from Bloomberg. It is exciting to see that there are going to be more product partnerships in the future. I love the cute Bosnian products that ksny developed for the women for women venture like the scarves and bags. It is a really long, detailed article so I copied the portion for you that mentioned kate spade:

Pentagon's Brinkley Plays Matchmaker in Afghanistan for IBM, Kate Spade


Cashmere Scarves
At a recent local exhibit the students sold $20,000 of goods in four hours, all to local buyers, according to Shoshana Coburn, the group’s managing director.
If all goes according to plan, Afghanistan-made cashmere scarves may begin production in Kabul this year and will eventually appear in Kate Spade stores as part of its “hand in hand” line, alongside pom-pom scarves and other products made in Bosnia.
Kate Spade’s approach to the products is different from the traditional “a portion of the proceeds” model. The company buys the goods outright from the workers, typically at a multiple of local market prices. Kate Spade then handles all the exporting and marketing costs involved in getting it to its stores.
The advantages for the producers -- in this case, Afghan women -- are clear. They get the money once they produce the wares instead of waiting for their share of the sale to make its way back to them. If the products sell well, then Kate Spade will make additional orders. The company aims to employ as many as 1,500 women in Kabul by the end of 2013.
A Market Needed
“The Afghans feel that any attempts by the Americans to really change anything would be half done without leaving a viable economy behind,” Leavitt says.
During his August visit, Leavitt arrived at Women for Women’s Kabul training institute and sat on the floor among the participants and asked how he could help. A woman who had been unable to leave her home for seven years summed it up.
“She just needed a market to sell,” Leavitt says.
Kate Spade is perfectly suited to working in Afghanistan. “Hand in hand” is equal parts philanthropy, entrepreneurship and branding.
“This is not a cash-aid partnership,” Leavitt says. “Our goal is that this is ultimately a profit center for the women and for us. This is meant to be good solid economics for everyone.”
Still, it’ll take a lot of Kate Spades to make Afghanistan matter in the global economy.
  It is nice to read that a company that I love is doing something that I can get excited about and support. You can view the full article from Bloomberg about businesses helping out in Afghanistan here

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