Fashion and Global Development: Adwoa Adu’s Two Passions


Safari Cruz Handbag $135 CDN

SAFARI CRUZ HANDBAG ($135 CDN) (courtesy of Arm Candy Casa

Details: Cheeta patterned horse hair (front); smooth brown suede (back); wooden handle (removable); additional flat suede strap (removable)



From the 50th anniversary newsletter of Canadian Crossroads International (CCI) ( Sankofa (Vol. 8, NO. 2, Winter 2009, p. 5)

As a volunteer with CCI in 2007, Adwoa Adu worked with Women in Law and Development and Pro-Link in Accra, Ghana, supporting small collectives developing income-generating projects with women living with HIV and AIDS. She conducted workshops on business skills, quality control, adding value to products and market trends – all of which is improving the value of their handiwork for fair trade markets. She tells how she “stressed quality, little details like the clasp of a necklace.”

One of the volunteer commitments for Canadian Crossroaders is to share the experience with Canadians through development education when they return home. Adwoa says, “I really wanted to do something that met my two passions, fashion and global development.” She opened Arm Candy Casa in downtown Toronto in January 2008. “The boutique showcases purses and linens from the women’s collectives, as well as pieces by independent, socially conscious designers. ‘It’s so important to me to continue my connection to these ladies. I know I wouldn’t be satisfied just selling bags. We deliberately set the store up to look like a museum so we can showcase each individual piece. People come in here and they want to know the stories behind them.”

Arm Candy Casa has its own web site for online shopping – – replete with images of these fair trade handbags, shoes, and linen.  Or you can visit the boutique at 4 Elm Street (the corner of Yonge and Elm).



~ by artpoped on January 7, 2009.

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