I’ll admit – at first glance, Chiyome seemed like a high-end, luxury house filled with unattainable goods and buttery leather dreams. The photography is pitch-perfect, the styling top notch. And the product? Come on. Gorgeous. But beneath the surface lies a mission well worth noting…

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As of this summer, Chiyome began creating jobs for survivors of human trafficking. Searching for a more socially-conscious role for business within the fashion industry, designer Anna Lynett Moss recently launched an innovative contracted work program for these survivors that, in her words, “positions this population as creative partners.”

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It’s a beautiful sentiment, creating a vehicle to recovery that doesn’t involve charity or factories or assembly lines. It’s two by two, little by little. It’s Anna and her vision and her passions and her dreams.

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The line, named after her great-grandmother, is minimalist in nature, yes. But it’s maximalist in good.

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Anna writes that her inaugural collection draws reference from modernist furniture, tent and A-frame houses, meditating on the question “What is essential?”


And I think she’s answered her own question. Essential isn’t the bags we carry, but the burdens we lighten for others. The survivors of human trafficking or unemployment or hunger or disease or loneliness or discontent or poverty or addiction.

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It’s the very act of coming alongside a population of people, taking their hand and joining forces to find creative solutions to today’s problems. That’s a lot to fit in a bag, yes. But something tells me Chiyome’s up for the challenge.

Bag pricing starts at $240, Images courtesy of Chiyome

p.s. Another company changing a population through business.

  • These are the kinds of brands I am eager to support. And, oh gosh, those bags are gorgeous! Thank you for sharing, Erin.

  • Ah, it is so refreshing to see a bag as beautiful as this, and arguably as unattainable in terms of the good ol’ wallet, making a positive change in the world. Too often I see a bag that could be $500 and drop-dead gorgeous but I just think of it as greedy. I know that might not be a sentiment I should have. The designers deserve their credit and many are definitely worth every penny in terms of quality, but just as you were touching on, what about the quality of lives for those less fortunate, who can join the creative forces of these designers? Not a question we tend to dwell on, but one you brought up very poignantly. Thank you for the post.

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