Raven + Lily: Empowering Women Through Design

Bohemian chic jewelry from a socially responsible brand dedicated to empowering women through design and sustainable economic opportunities.

Founded by Kirsten Dickerson, a former set and wardrobe stylist, and Sophia Lin, who made a name for herself in graphic design, Raven + Lily is a humanitarian, fairtrade and eco-friendly line of accessories and stationery founded on do-good principles. Dickerson and Lin share a close friendship and passion for fashion and ethical design, and envision Raven + Lily as a platform to utilize those passions to alleviate poverty among women.

The brand’s current collections feature exclusive handmade and eco-friendly jewelry and accessories from North India, Ethiopia and Cambodia. The beauty of each design reflects the values, skill and culture of the woman who made it, and you can learn more about the artisans on Raven + Lily’s website.

By providing a sustainable source of income, these partnerships seek to empower women artisans who have been victims of trafficking, marginalized from society, or suffer from HIV. Raven + Lily uses 100% of their profits from sales to achieve their social cause: empowering women through design.  This means employing these marginalized women, but also launching new partnerships and funding microloans, healthcare and educational needs in their partnership communities.

The Ethiopia Collection is comprised of bohemian chic statement necklaces, earrings and bracelets crafted with handmade beads and charms from melted bullet casings and vintage silver coins. It’s made by HIV-positive women in Ethiopia.

The India Collection features gorgeous recycled cotton papers, hand-carved wood journals, metallic leather jewelry and hand-milled natural soaps. This collection empowers marginalized women in Northern India.

Raven + Lily’s new artisan group, located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, specializes in creating beautiful pieces out of materials like naturally-dyed remnant jersey and hand-loomed cotton. These locally made raw materials also help employ community based weaving families and the craftsmen who produce them, many of whom are HIV positive or have formerly been victims of trafficking and abuse.

Feel good about buying something you know helps give back and empower women all over the world. And look good wearing it too!

Johanna Björk

Johanna is a sustainable fashion writer currently based in Ojai, CA. Read her weekly On Trend column to learn what's new in eco fashion.