ABBY ALLEY is a design brand creating fashion collections in East Africa with the purpose of giving back to initiatives in the region providing access to education, basic needs, and jobs. Having a job that pays fair and consistent (and on-time) wages is really the first step eradicating poverty. One of the reasons Abby partners with the artisan entrepreneurs that she does (apart from their fantastic skill) is their commitment to their communities and wanting to provide more and more job opportunities for people to help take the next step forward for themselves and families. Secondarily, as a teacher, and one who taught in Tanzania, Abby knows the challenges families face when there is not enough money to go around. There are some wonderful organizations and schools working so hard to support families who are making tough choices regarding money and it is Abby’s desire to partner with them as a way to help sustain their efforts. Currently, she works with a non-profit called Pamoja Tunaweza from the OneNdoto Organization and they are in the early stages of working with another organization, Come Unity, doing work to ensure girls have access to education.
The jewelry is primarily made of brass, bone, and horn. The brass used is recycled whenever possible, and the bone and horn are ethically sourced as a byproduct of the meat industry. All of the materials are locally sourced in Kenya. Production happens in small workshops throughout Nairobi. Abbey works with small business owners who run their own workshops. The bags are banned from vegetable tanned Maasai cow leather, all locally and ethically sourced in Kenya as a byproduct of the meat industry. Abbey works with two leather workshops in Nairobi. The first workshop is a family run business in which the Maasai women do the hand stitched beadwork in the village as a way to use a cultural tradition to generate income. The other is a workshop owned and operated by a fellow female entrepreneur. A native to Nairobi, she wanted to use the education she had to give back to her community.