Kenya is the birthplace of the Ethical Fashion Initiative which was founded in Nairobi in 2009.

To date, EFI has worked with thousands of artisans in Kenya to build production capacities and create market access for artisans and self-help groups. In Kenya, EFI has also worked with emerging design talent who produce locally and have the potential to reach international markets.

Newly launched project

In April 2024, EFI launched a new 3-year project “Designing the Future, a Green and Inclusive Fashion Ecosystem” which aims to foster sustainable fashion production and job creation in Kenya.

The newly launched initiative leverages on the success of the EFI business model to empower self-help groups of artisans, micro-producers, and design entrepreneurs, with special attention to women and youth, through the promotion of circular design and production.

2,500 individuals from marginalized communities throughout the country are expected to benefit from this initiative through specialized training, improved working conditions and increased access to the market, with prominent international fashion firms.

EFI’s intervention in Kenya is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

Launch event of EFI new project at Don Bosco Institute, Nairobi Kenya

In Kenya, EFI is also a partner with Artisan Fashion, an independent social enterprise and the offspring of EFI’s first social enterprise created in 2009. This Kenyan hub, based at the Export Processing Zone, brings together a range of artisan skills and manages the production of bags and accessories for international fashion brands such as Armani, Vivienne Westwood and many more.

2 social enterprise partners

Tujikuze, a newly created social enterprise specialised in community-based artisanal work such as metalwork, beadwork, macramé, basket weaving and shoe-making. 

Artisan Fashion, EFI’s original social enterprise partner, manages production of bags and accessories.

15 community groups

Ushindi, Alisam Silk, Africa Collect Textile, SATUBO, Bega Kwa Bega Beading Group, Hadithi Basket Weavers, Olonana and Olyandati Beading group

15 years

Providing decent work to beneficiaries

Supported by the

Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS)

“Being a Maasai young man, I am expected to have a family by now. But I chose a different path. I joined college but I have to pay my school fees because my parents do not believe in higher formal education. That is why I work part-time with Olonana women's group. By working with them, I am able to pay for my school fees as well as cater for my other needs. I am grateful to Artisan Fashion for empowering the women and youth of my community.”

Samuel Saruni, 23 years old

Meet the Makers: turning boat sails into luxury handbags

Follow Wanyama as he sources unused dhow sail from the coast near Mombasa to be upcycled to bags for Vivienne Westwood at the Artisan Fashion Hub.

Our social enterprise partner Artisan Fashion coordinates the work of artisan community groups throughout Kenya, from Maasai beading groups in the Ngong Hills to brass casters working with upcycled materials in Nairobi.

Bag Making

Basket Weaving

Jewellery Making