The Brave Collection is a line of jewelry handmade in Cambodia by local artisans to celebrate Bravery and empower women across the globe. 10% of profit donated to fight against human trafficking.
Tell us about your journey starting Brave Collection.
I was teaching English in Thailand when I traveled to Cambodia for the first time. The beauty of this incredible country mesmerized me and horrified to learn that in the 1970s genocide, 1/3 of the population was killed along with 90% of the artisan community. As a theatre student at the time, I couldn’t imagine living in a place where the arts had been demolished. I was also shocked to learn about the modern day challenges with human trafficking, especially for young girls.
What does slow fashion means to you and how Brave Collection engage in it?
Well “fast fashion” means exploiting people and the environment, using both like machines, in order to produce often very low-value goods as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Beyond being incredibly harmful to our global community and our planet, this focus on consumption can also breed a kind of narcissistic, careless, materialistic attitude where values become diluted. To me, “slow fashion” speaks to an emphasis on handmade craft, a respect for the planet, and a dignified environment for workers to be treated as artists, instead of machines.
Why is it important to you to work directly with the artisans in Cambodia?
The artists I work with have immense talent and dedication, but incredibly few opportunities to engage with a global clientele, or to collaborate with innovators and designers from other countries. At The Brave Collection we brainstorm together, problem solve together and design together, sharing ideas across cultures and exposing each other to new ideas.
Walk us through the process of making a Brave collection piece.
Each piece of metal is carved and polished by hand in a small studio, and then woven with cotton into the final piece by an artist at the studio, or a mother, working from home while she cares for her children.
Tell us about the Non-Profit you support and why is it important to you?
We have supported several non-profits since we began. One of the non-profits that we support today is called Free to Shine. This group was started as a response to the advice of formerly trafficked Cambodian girls, who insisted that the best way to fight human trafficking is to connect with vulnerable girls.
What is the future like for Brave Collection?
We will soon be launching a new collection that will offer a new delicate strength, introducing some new motifs and materials. Stay tuned!