fashion designers without borders

Garment Graffiti by Thomas Voorn

Garment Graffiti by Thomas Voorn



Chrissie Lam, a senior concept designer at US retail brand American Eagle Outfitters for twelve years, always wanted to connect her passion for fashion, adventure and philanthropy.

After taking a sabbatical from her design position to go to Rwanda and explore clothing craftsmanship, she decided to launch The Supply Change, a network whose purpose is to alleviate extreme poverty by connecting artisans in emerging economies with the global market place.


Chrissie explains: “We are curating experiences and enlisting like-minded design colleagues in order to help them realize the potential of sourcing in developing countries. I believe change comes from within a company, and currently there is a disconnect between people in the design industry and social enterprises/artisan groups abroad. If design professionals can connect with great organizations, meet the artisans, witness the social impact and be inspired by the local resources, they are more likely to return to their companies with enthusiasm and the knowledge to advocate for a brand-social enterprise collaboration. We want to create ambassadors – ambassadors that can influence change within their companies and raise awareness and action through real stories and word-of-mouth experiences.”

The venture, she ads, is not a non-profit, for it is meant to bring resources to those involved.

The Supply Change has partnered with travel agency Extraordinary Journeys to create unique travel programs under the name of Fashion Designers Without Borders. The first program will be held in Kenya on February 16-23, 2013 and will educate and connect participants with artisan social enterprises hat work with brands like Edun, Suno, Puma, Max Mara, Whole Foods and others.  A second trip will be organized in March 2013 in Guatemala.


Even though only a few weeks old, The Supply Change is receiving great press and support from medias. The public is ready; now the corporate world is definitely in need for change, not only the merchandise but the job positions themselves have become so boring that business as usual can no longer be sustained.

Thanks to the relevance in timing of this start-up, and through the passion of its founder, this venture will go a long way; Edelkoort Inc is happy to support. Good luck!


Emmanuelle Linard