Impact // Maiyet

January 29, 2014

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Happy to be sharing another Impact column with you for today’s post… Read on to find out about a line that is inspiring many and supporting a great cause, and many thanks to S&P contributor, Meredith, for putting together such a lovely feature!

P.S. – After checking out their site, I have not been able to stop watching the incredible videos that feature the Maiyet artisans working their magic.  I’ve included my favorite portrayal of the hand batik process from Indonesia below, but would highly recommend the Indian hand block printing and Columbian metal casting, as well… It is MINDblowing to watch what these people can create with their hands!!!

By Meredith Mohr for Style & Pepper

Their pieces are those that you’d see straight off the runway – sleek and “design-driven” with hints of rich cultural influence threaded throughout the collections.

There is more to Maiyet than high-end style, though. They describe their line that contains apparel, jewelry and accessories, as one that is “pioneering a new luxury by creating a brand that celebrates rare artisanal skills from unexpected places.” So while their collections may be a much-needed breath of fresh air on the most highly regarded runways of the fashion world, the heart behind their efforts is to lift up a generation of master craftsmen from places such as Colombia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mongolia and Peru.

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Maiyet’s CEO and co-founder, Paul Van Zyl hails from South Africa and is considered a long-time champion of human rights.  He is a researcher, investigator and pioneer of social change, and has been recognized for his efforts by peace and justice organizations all over the world. Fellow co-founder Kristy Caylor, handles the creative direction of the designs, and with her storied background at fashion powerhouses like Gap and Banana Republic, she holds extensive experience in re-imagining brands into more successful, powerful versions of the original.

The purpose-driven team and extensive industry background behind Maiyet has grown the company into a global line with a focus on social causes and a sustainable market.

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True to their deep commitment to create long lasting stability and self-sufficiency, Maiyet has also partnered with Nest to create entrepreneurial training programs for their artisans. This curriculum is unique to each country of origin, and is meant to provide them with a way to make a lucrative business out of continuing to create the pieces that their ancestors have produced for ages.  The economic sustainability has a profound impact on their families and communities, and the consumers who are lucky enough to own the pieces can be reminded of the soul and stories behind the work with every use.

Images from the Maiyet website

Maiyet | Hand Batik In Indonesia from MAIYET on Vimeo.

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