Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Partners since 2017
Chiban was founded in 2015 by two Ethiopian women, Eden and Elsa, who shared a dream of bringing change to their city through the creation of fine leather goods. The two saw that the youth of Addis Ababa were particularly vulnerable to exploitation. So guided by the motto “Do all things with love,” they set out to create a path to empowerment through dignified work.
Walk into Chiban’s high-end leather workshop today, and it’s clear that this motto is still their north star. Many of the workshop’s Artisans are former street youth and commercial sex workers who have now been empowered through dedicated training and education. From the way they carefully craft their beautiful products to the way they care for their fellow Artisans, Chiban’s commitment to doing all things with love is producing beautiful results.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Nestled in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world and has a rich culture and history dating back to ancient times. Ethiopia was the only African nation to maintain its independence during the European colonialism of the 19th century, a fact about which Ethiopians feel great pride. Coffee, which was discovered in Ethiopia, is the country's largest export and is an important part of Ethiopian culture.
Stories of Flourishing
EsheEshe is an incredibly resilient woman who has persevered through life at an orphanage, in an abusive domestic work situation in Lebanon, and in a brothel. But her story doesn’t end there – because she has transformed it into something truly beautiful. After entering a rehabilitation program that enabled her to find safer work, in 2015, Eshe was hired to craft Noonday Collection’s leather bags. She is now a happily married wife and new mother and is proud to tell us, “My life has completely changed.
AzebAzeb’s journey to becoming an Artisan began in a rehabilitation center for women in vulnerable situations. Despite incredible obstacles, Azeb was determined to change her future and make a better life for herself. So despite the fact that she had no Artisan training, she joined Chiban as an Artisan. After being trained to work with leather, today Azeb isn’t just a member of the workshop community – she proudly holds the position of lead operator.