The International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the United Nations and World Trade Organisation, and its Ethical Fashion were first introduced to the innovative e-fabric project during the Rio+20 conference in 2012. This project, which results from the 12 year partnership in between Instituto-E and Osklen.
In parallel, ITC’s Ethical Fashion Initiative which focuses on promoting trade development for in developing economies, understood that e-fabrics is a unique initiative, that generates income and social inclusion, and it is able to empower marginalized populations. Thus came the invitation to Nina Braga, director of Instituto-E and to visit Haiti in search of materials that could be handled by the local population in order to be transformed into fashion pieces.
In June 2012 Nina brought back the result of the research conducted with various reused materials, which were transformed into fashion accessories such as necklaces, pendants and bracelets, making the line E-Ayiti. Their design reflects the simplicity and purity of style of Osklen and the pieces will be replicated by Haitian artisans, under the direct supervision of the UN, creating a source of income for these people.
E-Ayiti (= Haiti in Creole) products were developed from materials like wrought iron and colored phone strings, tissues from remaining tents of refugee camps and tubes made of paper mache. The entire line is engraved with the word "hope" written in Portuguese, French, English, Haitian Creole and Braille, and will be available in Osklen stores in September.