In my search for companies that aligned with my vision for Five44 I found BYTAVI. The BYTAVI line features high-quality, boutique-style handbags and clothing made by a team of talented seamstresses in Cambodia. These handcrafted pieces offer women consistent employment and a living wage where poverty is widespread. Each product is stitched with the name of the seamstress who made it, making each purchase all the more meaningful. All leather handbags are made of vegan leather. The clothing is recycled remnant rayon or cotton knit with a super soft hand feel and 4 way stretch.
BYTAVI is a project of the Center for Global Impact (CGI). CGI has three projects, BYTAVI, a Culinary Training Center, and The Imprint Project. The Imprint Project is an intensive 12-month life skills program that focuses on spiritual formation, general education and vocational seamstress training. BYTAVI partners with other organizations in Cambodia on the rescuing side of human trafficking and from there they provide aftercare resources and education to reintegrate them into their communities. Some of their seamstresses come from the Imprint Projection but they also have women from the surrounding village of Takmau. Their current seamstresses know the women in their community that would benefit from the job and the hiring process starts there.
BYTAVI currently has 22 seamstresses and 6 staff. They also have volunteers that help with quality control, packing and shipping in their Indiana location.
BYTAVI provides a quality environment for the women to work in. The hope is that the women are empowered through choice to exercise their freedom. They have the freedom to choose their schedule and hours they want to work to meet their budget. BYTAVI provides lunch everyday for their seamstresses, they are able to work as needed and are free to come and go as they please. There is no set quota they have to meet, they provide a fair, living wage, they honor maternity leave and the women go on retreats together. Their seamstresses are not required to be Christians, but they do share the gospel and the women have the option to participate in a daily devotional.*
How awesome is this?!? I am so excited to carry the BYTAVI line and I hope you feel confident in your style knowing who, where, how and what it means to buy from BYTAVI. When you shop BYTAVI you fight human trafficking.
Thank you for shopping fair trade.