Simone Cipriani is the founder and head of the Ethical
Fashion Initiative, a flagship programme of the International
Trade Centre, a joint United Nations and World Trade
After gaining experience working in the leather
industry in Italy, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, China, Tunisia and
Morocco, Simone Cipriani then relocated to Ethiopia working for
UNIDO to set up service centers for the local leather industry.
Meeting and working with micro-producers Simone Cipriani saw an
opportunity to connect skilled artisans with the fashion
industry for mutual benefit, which inspired him to develop the
idea for the Ethical Fashion Initiative.
In 2009, Simone Cipriani joined the International
Trade Centre where he founded the Ethical
Fashion Initiative. Simone Cipriani began the project by
developing a cooperative in the slum of Korogocho in Kenya with
a group of micro-producers production hub in Kenya with the
guidance of the visionary Gino Filippini. Gradually the project
has expanded to Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana, Haiti, West Bank,
Ethiopia and Cambodia. Today, through his work at the Ethical
Fashion Initiative, Simone Cipriani has become a key responsible
fashion spokesperson at the forefront of the growing global
movement for ethical supply chains in the fashion industry
As implied by our name, Ethics
are at the heart of what we do and it should be at the heart of
all industries and organisations.
People first. Fair supply chain.
Living wages. Dignified working conditions. This is what the Ethical
Fashion Initiative stands for. The Ethical Fashion
Initiative is against any form of labour of exploitation.
As a creative industry, fashion
should be about vision and not greed. We all need to manage our
handprint and our footprint. In other words, we need to act in a
responsible & sustainable manner towards people and the
The future of fashion is about
sustainability and about products that are beautiful on the
inside and outside. This is why we believe in artisans, people
who take pride in their work and put their heart & soul in it.
Artisans are the key to a fashion industry that has ethics and
aesthetics. Sweatshops and workers trapped in an endless cycle
of creating cheap fast-fashion is not true fashion.
The Ethical Fashion Initiative connects
artisans from the developing world to the international
value chain of fashion. In doing so, the Ethical Fashion
Initiative harnesses fashion as a vehicle for development.
Artisans can change their lives for the better by
manufacturing luxury value-added ethical
fashion products for top fashion designers.
Fashion Initiative is
a strong supporter of the African fashion industry’s
potential for growth. The Ethical Fashion Initiative works
with the rising generation of fashion talent from Africa and
encourages the forging of ethical, sustainable and creative
collaborations with artisans from the continent.