On April 30, 2015, the NYU Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship, Liberty & Justice Clothing, Made in Africa, and SPARK convened a community of fashion brands, designers and industry taste-makers and movers to start a candid conversation about the real challenges and inspiring opportunities in sourcing from and doing business in countries across Africa. The evening began with a stellar panel discussion that included Sydney Price, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility at Kate Spade & Company, Lauren Bush Lauren, Founder & CEO of FEED, Paul van Zyl, Co-Founder & CEO of Maiyet, and Stefani Mar, Senior Textile Designer at Eileen Fisher. Sean Ansett, Board Chair of Liberty & Justice Clothing brilliantly guided the discussion where the panelists shared their hard-won lessons of successfully sourcing from and doing business in different countries across Africa, and realizing economic, quality, and social advantages, even in post-conflict regions. We learned that this work isn't just about baseline compliance. It's about the power of "and;" growing meaningful brands AND creating meaningful social impact throughout the value chain.
A wonderful networking cocktail reception followed, where attendees made connections to explore new levels of quality, creativity, speed to market and sophistication, all at a competitive price while enhancing positive social impact.
We would like to extended a very special thank you to our wonderful panel members and moderator, to SPARK for their generous financial support for the event, SPARK's South Sudan Country Director and NYU Reynolds alum Lauren Servin, the entire L&J and MIA team, especially Chid Liberty and Paloma Pineda, and to Allana Finley and Engelbert DeCastro for their help in identifying some of the stellar participants that joined the conversation.
With tremendous thanks to our sponsors and partners: