AngeloIgitego

Unique luxury bow ties ethically made by hand in Rwanda

Boston, Massachusetts | 43 Sales

AngeloIgitego

Unique luxury bow ties ethically made by hand in Rwanda

Boston, Massachusetts 43 Sales On Etsy since 2016

0 out of 5 stars (7)
Anthony Gregorio

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Anthony Gregorio

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Updates

Running low on a lot of our current inventory, but we still have this one! Get them before they're gone. Making room for some new designs!
Just finished a new batch of the Origin bow tie, on sale for Father's Day.
If you get it today we'll ship it right away, in time for Father's Day this sunday!
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About

WE ARE AN ETHICAL FASHION COMPANY CREATING JOBS IN RWANDA

ABOUT US

We are an ethical fashion company that makes high-end bow ties by hand in Rwanda. Our primary objective is job creation. Every bow tie we sell provides significant wages and opportunity for the talented artisans in Rwanda who make them. The more bow ties we sell, the more people we can employ.

HOW WE BEGAN

Angelo and Anthony started this business in the fall of 2015. We met when Anthony was traveling to Rwanda for work, and developed a friendship over the years that turned into a business partnership. Anthony is based in Boston, MA and Angelo in Kigali, Rwanda.

WHY WE CARE SO MUCH ABOUT JOB CREATION

Angelo was born in Rwanda during the height of the 1994 genocide, and grew up among the poor in a country that was too busy repairing the damage to be able to provide for the needs of the younger generation and invest in their future. The resulting gaps in education, financial literacy, and jobs are major barriers preventing a lot of young people in Rwanda today - the so-called "lost generation" - from climbing out of poverty. As two young entrepreneurs, we believed job growth was central to the problem and something that we could influence, so this is where we began.

OUR TEAM

Our employees are uneducated, displaced, or otherwise disenfranchised women in their 20s and 30s who were previously living below the poverty line. Our goal is to be able to employ 20 people by 2020. We have a team of 3 tailors right now, Angelo's wife Mariam (our master tailor), a refugee from Burundi named Carine, and a local woman from Kigali named Sada.

PROGRESS BEYOND JOBS

In addition to stable, ethical employment, our work at Angelo Igitego provides a sense of community and purpose for the people we employ. We make ties, cook meals, share stories, and learn new skills together, from language and sewing techniques to math and geometry. As employers, we're teaching our team how to budget and save and prepare for longer-term needs. We provide their health insurance and pay them salaried wages using a bank account, something that is unheard of in the local economy and is fundamental to financial inclusion and upward mobility.

OUR PRODUCTS

The cornerstone of our brand is the selective incorporation of kitenge fabric into mens garments. Kitenge is a waxed-cotton batik fabric that is indigenous to East Africa. Kitenge is complex and gorgeous textile. It can take months to complete a single print! To make it, templates made of wax are stamped onto the fabric, and then repeatedly dipped into different dyes to produce the intricate, multicolor patterns. It’s an amazing process.

The designs, symbols, shapes and colors on Kitenge fabrics are influenced by the many diverse regions of East Africa and beyond. The patterns printed on kitenge are large, making every cut of fabric - and every bow tie - slightly unique and limited in quantity. Wearing one is an incredible celebration of individuality and self-expression.

THANK YOU!

We're already seeing amazing changes in the lives of our tailors. This is only possible because of consumers like you who share our values and are willing to pay a premium for products that contribute to social good. Thank you for your support! We are excited to grow and do our part to help close the gap in living standards around the world.

Much love,

- Angelo, Anthony, Mariam, Carine, and Sada

Shop members

  • Angelo Igitego

    Owner

  • Anthony Gregorio

    Owner

  • Mariam

    Master Tailor

  • Carine

    Apprentice Tailor

  • Sada

    Apprentice Tailor

  • Jimmy

    Apprentice Tailor

Shop policies