An ongoing collaboration between Kate Spade New York and Women for Women International is giving back to women in war-torn countries. This union is named under the moniker “Hand in Hand” , boasting a beautiful collection of hand-knit accessories. These accessories are designed to provide vital, sustainable employment for women in countries including Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Rwanda, and Afghanistan, where opportunities and prospects leave little for them.

Having recently moved into Afghanistan, the program is going to leverage private investment from Kate Spade New York to provide critical, sustainable employment opportunities for Afghan women.

Starting in 2012, Kate Spade New York plans to create approximately 5,000 units of product a year with Afghan women. Their goal is to reach a total of 15,000 units by 2013.

Partnered with the US government, this will help in  creating an enabling environment in Afghanistan for the partnership to take begin, and later, thrive. The much-needed government leadership and resources will both provide what is necessary to make it happen, and happen with success.

For the last five years, Kate Spade New York and Women for Women International have worked together to promote these types of micr0-enterprises for women in war-torn communities. They began in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the past year along, about four hundred jobs were create there, as well as Kosovo and Rwanda.

The move to expanding into Afghanistan will offer more of these, and it is the next needed step in this partnership that is thriving. Women for Women International’s role is to provide the training in embroidery, weaving and beadwork for the women of these countries, while Kate Spade New Yor’s role is to deliver any sort of creative output.

Now in Fall 2011, there are loads of accessories offered through this partnerships – ones that we’ll feel great about purchasing, as well as look good, too. Oh, and they’re super warm, so that is definitely a plus!

Hand in Hand has created a line of cozy accessories, all using local yards. These hand-knit pieces are by artisans in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and feature gorgeous hues of black and white, fuschia and cerise.

Pieces include:

Giant Pom Pom Scarf: From the fall collection, bundle up this season with the cozy pom pom scarf, crafted entirely by hand by women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. $175. Fuschia and cerise.

Hand in Hand Pom Pom Mittens: Also from the fall collection, keep hands toasty this season with the pom pom mittens, which also were crafted entirely by hand by women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. $95. Fuschia and cerise, or black and white.

Bangles: Theirs bangles were designed specifically as a part of their partnership with Women for Women International.  To celebrate their Join Me on the Bridge campaign, they are sending  25 percent of total sales from the bangle to be donated to Women for Women International. Silver bangle includes a shiny rhodium silver hardware, with the outside engraved “hand in hand”, inside engraved “there’s strength in numbers”. It is 2.5″ diameter and 0.5″ width. They also offer a gold and rose gold version. $58.

Hand in Hand Hair Pin: Their pretty floral hairpin was crafted entirely by hand in Bosnia.It is made of 100% cotton thread with a gold metal plated bobby pin. Black and white. $48.

Hand in Hand Knit Necklace: Also done in Bosnia, this pretty necklace is the perfect complement to the hair pin. 100% cotton thread. Black and white. $98.

“By purchasing pieces from our Hand in Hand collection, you directly drive demand” says the label, “enabling us to hire more women and enable them to rebuild their lives and their communities.”

So… go buy them.


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