We collaborate directly with East African artisans to produce high quality, hand-crafted designs that merge traditional techniques with a modern, timeless aesthetic. By bringing these products to the global market, we empower our artisan partners with opportunities for long term growth that impacts future generations.
We invite our customers to join our journey by shopping a unique selection of fair trade products. We’re dedicated to cultivating connections between our customers and artisan partners. By doing so, we hope to provide and inspire an ethical way of being fashionable.
Our long term vision is that our partnerships with the artisans in East Africa would enable us to make an impact on the lives of those in need here in the U.S., including Zuri’s home, Chicago.
Zuri means beautiful in Swahili. Let’s work together to spread beautiful stories.
Zuri Collection is a business that seeks to create opportunity for artisans in Tanzania to grow their business by having access to a global marketplace and fair wages. It all started back in 2013 when I (Abby) went to teach primary school in Arusha, Tanzania. Seeing firsthand how difficult it is for many Tanzanians to find a job that paid enough to support their families, I knew I wanted to do something to get involved. As a career teacher, I thought about starting a school, but after learning more about the power of fair trade, helping people grow their businesses became a passion. The wheels started turning and I began to dream about what it would look like to partner with artisan entrepreneurs in Tanzania and around the world. I traveled back to Arusha, Tanzania in 2016, and it was then that I made the decision to start a company that represents the artisanship of Tanzania and also gives American women access to ethically-made, high-quality accessories, and home goods.
Along the way I read somewhere that we are all implicated in the injustices of this world whether we realize it or not. Our purchases, every dollar we spend, stands for something or someone. The fast fashion industry is exploiting millions of artisans, seamstresses, and farmers in order to produce more clothing and sell them at a cheaper, and cheaper price. The cost to make clothes, however, has not decreased. Someone is paying the cost. Opportunities for consistent work and fair wages are few and far between in many developing countries, like Tanzania, although many artisans create beautiful work that is worthy of the global marketplace.
My hope is to create a brand where women who love fashion can find quality, ethically-made, and unique pieces. I love that God made all of us different, yet the same. He gave us all unique talents and diverse cultures, but all of us are made in His image and have a desire to have work and for purpose. Zuri is a place where we see the beauty of God through the stories of women around the world. Our pieces represent those stories. When you wear or purchase Zuri, you are wearing and displaying a beautiful story.
We give opportunity, not charity. It has been well documented that while giving away food, shelter, medical aid when people are in desperate need is necessary and good, the real way to create change in a community is to help create opportunity. Your purchases are empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty and provide for their families. All Zuri products are made in the communities we wish to help and are imported to the U.S. for you to enjoy.
We are a proud member of Chicago Fair Trade!