ABLE is a lifestyle brand focused on ending generational poverty by working with women who have often overcome extraordinary circumstances. They manufacture directly in the communities they wish to impact, both locally and globally, creating jobs and ending the cycle of charity dependency.
ABLE chooses to work with women because they know that when women thrive so do the economies in which they operate. According to UNICEF, Women reinvest 80 percent of their income into their families, while men invest only 30 to 40 percent. This statistic shows that when women are supported, families are strengthened. It is a phenomena that inspires ABLE to overcome local and global poverty through women empowerment. This has always been the core mission of the social enterprise, even in its earlier days, when it’s only product were handwoven scarves.
According to UNICEF, Women reinvest 80 percent of their income into their families, while men invest only 30 to 40 percent.
Founder Barrett Ward had the idea to start ABLE years ago while living in Ethiopia, seeing firsthand how the generations of impoverished conditions were weighing on the communities. He learned that many young women were forced to resort to prostitution just to support themselves and their families. The cycle of poverty in their communities kept them trapped; generation after generation. In starting ABLE, the goal was to create an alternate option for these women. By empowering them with skills and opportunity, they could find new pathways to earn a living. With multiple studies, like the previous mentioned report from UNICEF, illustrating how providing employment opportunities for women strengthens entire communities, Barrett and the ABLE team made it their mission to work toward an end to generational poverty.
With a wave of support over the years, the brand has grown rapidly, from producing a single collection of hand-woven scarves to a full apparel and accessories offering. As of last spring when they launched apparel, their line now includes leather goods, handmade jewelry, denim and footwear. This has also allowed the brand to expand from not just empower women in Nashville and Ethiopia, but now in Mexico and Peru. Wherever your purchase is made, each item has one thing in common: through working with women, it is leading all of us a step closer to the end of generational poverty.
Each item has one thing in common: through working with women, it is leading all of us a step closer to the end of generational poverty.
As the social enterprise continues to grow — they just released their first full collection for Spring, called the FRESH:EDIT — they are continually looking for ways to assess and measure their impact to be transparent with their supporters and to keep them striving toward their mission. Soon, they will be launching a platform called accountABLE, a radical and disruptive reporting system that will provide unparalleled transparency into the social impact of their employment and manufacturing practices. Keep an eye out for more information coming early this summer!
To learn more about ABLE, check out their member directory profile.