Beaded Accessories Made by HIV-Positive South African Mothers Gain Popularity in International Fashion World
July 15, 2005
Beaded accessories created by women enrolled in a program for mothers and pregnant women that aims to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in South Africa are "being catapulted into the international fashion scene," the Wall Street Journal reports (Cooper, Wall Street Journal, 7/15). The Mothers' Programmes, in Khayelitsha township outside of Cape Town, South Africa, provides services to between 2,500 and 3,000 pregnant women each month. The women participate in entrepreneurial projects, such as beading and blanket-making groups, giving them a chance to become financially independent (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/12). In 2003, the program launched a beading project, called Mothers Creations, and the accessories they produce -- including cell phone pouches, bracelets, lanyards and carrying cases for condoms -- are the "next hot trend in charity fashion," according to the Journal. Fashion designer Kenneth Cole has ordered more than 5,000 beaded lanyards and is negotiating with the project to produce beaded sandals. The cable channel Showtime bought about 1,000 lanyards for a recent event, and Church & Dwight's Trojan division commissioned 500 condom-carrying cases featuring the brand logo in beads. Mothers Creations has netted more than $300,000 since it started, according to charity officials. The group sells cell phone covers -- one of which takes three days to make -- for about $20 each and lanyards for $12 each. Workers are paid in cash as soon as they complete an item (Wall Street Journal, 7/15).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.