Liberty & Justice, Africa’s first fair trade apparel maker, is launching Uniform, a T-shirt label that will donate one school uniform to a child in Liberia for every T-shirt the company sells.
L&J founder and chief executive officer Chid Liberty was born in Liberia but grew up in Germany, where his foreign diplomat father was based in Bonn. After falling out with the then-Liberian president Samuel Doe, the elder Liberty fled to the U.S., living first in Palo Alto and then in Milwaukee, Chid Liberty said Thursday. Inspired in part by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s 2006 election win, Liberty returned to Liberia for the first time in decades and decided to try to help further change. In 2010, he opened the Liberty & Justice factory, manufacturing for such labels as Prana and Lauren Bush’s FEED brand. The facility now employs 300 workers who share 49 percent equity. Ninety-five percent of the team are working mothers.
Trying to build on that bedrock, Uniform’s Liberian-made T-shirts will be sold for 45 days on Kickstarter starting June 2. Through a partnership with the United Nations and Liberia’s Ministry of Education, the company’s initial goal of raising $ 50,000 would provide 2,000 uniforms to students in
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