If pretty is as pretty does, then Satara is a true beaut. The Dutch fashion label isn’t your average purveyor of ethical togs. It’s also a nonprofit, one that promotes gender equality and self-empowerment in India by training and employing underprivileged women. But Satara is no slouch in the design department, either, with crush-worthy pieces in billowy, lightweight fabrics that encapsulate the clean look of summer.

Satara, Designers United, fair trade fashion, fair trade clothing, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, sustainable style

WOMEN’S MOVEMENT

Moniek van Erven founded Satara after a microfinancing job at India’s Mann Deshi Bank afforded her the opportunity to help the local women she worked with. Despite her lack of formal fashion training, van Erven was determined to provide the skills these women, most of whom had rudimentary sewing skills, needed to lift themselves out of poverty.

Satara is a nonprofit fashion label that trains, employs, and empowers underprivileged women in India.

After leveraging a small inheritance, the kindness of strangers, and her contacts at Mann Deshi, van Erven roped in three graduates from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in the Netherlands to draft Satara’s debut collection.

Satara, Designers United, fair trade fashion, fair trade clothing, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, sustainable style

SEAM BY SEAM

The seamstresses who bring the gorgeous designs to life are not only well-compensated for their work, but they also receive intensive training (cutting, garment construction, machine sewing) from the designers themselves so they can create a high-quality product.

The seamstresses receive fair compensation, as well as training from the designers themselves.

The Spring/Summer 2010 line offers playsuits, romper shorts, flowy blouses, and paper-bag pants in a mix of handwoven Indian Khadi cotton and silk-blend fabrics.

But Satara also wants you to look beyond the threads to see the women who pieced them together. Each garment comes with a tag that indicates the seamstress who toiled to create it, not to mention the valiant efforts of a group of individuals who are making the world a more inclusive place for all.

+ Satara at Designers United

+ Satara