Akamae is an ethical fashion brand with a unique approach. We connect fashion designers with refugee artisans. Together designers and artisans work to co-create what neither could do alone.
We aim for our website to be the marketplace for co-creation fashion, working with designers and ambassadors all over the world who have learned the co-creation process.
Currently our artisans live on the Thai-Burma border. We provide them with the global marketplace and outreach to take their valuable skills to the world.
At the heart of Akamae is the belief that we are all connected, worthy, and valuable. We bring these values into the creative spaces where every item is birthed.
Our focus is one of abundance, and we live everyday in the belief that we have everything we need.
We don’t settle for “fair” trade. We can do so much better than fair.
Akamae founder, Cara Boccieri, did not start her career in the fashion world, nor did she stumble into the refugee crisis. Her career, education, and scholarly research have all centered on the lives of refugee people.
After completing her M.A. from the United Nations University for Peace in International Peace & Conflict Resolution, Cara made a name for herself with her unprecedented work on 'holistic approaches' to refugee settlements.
Cara's research, the basis for Akamae, focuses on cultivating self-reliance in refugee communities. It is the antithesis to the current global model of humanitarian aid, dependency and deficit. She believes in a foundational framework that sees abundance, human connection, and worth.
During her research in refugee camps 2011, Cara repeatedly heard from people the desire to use their traditional skills to work towards self-reliance. The missing link was access to a marketplace. Thus was the birth of Akamae (formerly Ways of Change).