Ways of Change

A Call to Consciousness

This month, Ways of Change is holding a fundraiser to generate $6,000 to buy a plot of land. The refugee community they work with use this land for their school, playground and sports field. If they are unable to purchase it, the land will be used for farming - and not the organic kind! Since many of them live within a mile from the land, the harmful pesticides will negatively impact their living situation. See below how your purchasing power can help!  if you would like to donate, you may do that here.

Tell us about Ways of Change and how sustainability is incorporated into the business.

Ways of Change is an ethical fashion brand empowering refugees through handmade jewelry and accessories. All of our products are 100% handmade and a portion of the sales help to fund community development projects and entrepreneurial trainings within the refugee communities that we work with. Where possible our products are made from upcycled, organic, natural, cruelty-free, fairly traded and locally sourced materials. Our newest collection 'Ga Na Tey’, meaning ‘A Call to Consciousness’, which will be launching next month, combines recycled vintage chain along with sustainably sourced wood pendents. 

How did you find a need for this type of business?

WoC was more than inspired by it was directly asked for by the refugees living on the Thailand Burma border when Co-Founder Cara was carrying out research in 2011 for her masters thesis. During interviews and conversations she was repeatedly hearing, “You know we are talented artisans, we have many skills, but we have no access to any market place.” And thus Ways of Change was born. 

What is Kayan Community Development Services, and how do you contribute? 

KCDS is a non-profit and our partner organization that we work with to facilitate many of the trainings and community development projects that WoC funds. The founder of KCDS is both a friend, business partner, and Kayan refugee himself. WoC does not directly contribute to KCDS instead WoC funds their own projects in accordance with the community needs and implementation is overseen by our Community Director along with KCDS. 

Where do you and your artisans find inspiration for the brass jewelry? 

It is a very interesting process designing the collections. I (Lauren, Creative Director) am inspired by so many different things from the Kayan culture, travel, art, music, movies, cities and history. When I come up with an idea or design it is then interpreted in a different way by the artisans that we work with to collaboratively come up with something new, exciting and completely unique to WoC. 

What are the future plans for Ways of Change?

We are working on our second collection currently which will drop in November. We are also currently fundraising to help one of the refugee communities that we work with buy their land that the communities school and soccer field are on. We are also working on new designs, techniques and trainings constantly for future collections. 

See above how you can help support their fundraiser by what you purchase in their shop here. Their collection is absolutely gorgeous!

Natalie Kay