Rags2Riches, Inc. (R2R), a fashion and design house and for-profit social enterprise from the Philippines, is a 2015 Eileen Fisher NY Women-Owned Business Grantee. Along with four other women-run enterprises, they will be awarded a monetary grant to further the positive social and environmental impact they have on their communities. R2R is the first organization in Asia–and outside the US & Canada–to win the grant.
Eileen Fisher is a fashion line from New York with a mission to empower women through the clothes they design and the grants they’ve been awarding to women-led, socially and environmentally-conscious companies for 11 years. For Eileen Fisher, a business is a movement. She shares: “I like the idea that a company can be successful as a business and also as an agent of positive change.”
Rags2Riches CEO and co-founder Reese Fernandez-Ruiz is honored to be recognized by Eileen Fisher. “It’s a brand that we resonate with so much, especially in terms of values,” she said. “Our dream is to be a platform for artisans to get out of poverty and we can do that well through expanding our market reach. We are so excited because R2R is going places and getting a lot of love from people around and outside the Philippines!”
For 8 years, R2R has made it its primary goal to give women from poor, urban communities the opportunity to thrive and escape poverty. They do this by eliminating the middlemen and giving fair wages to the artisans who create R2R’s handwoven and eco-ethical fashion and home accessories.
They have partnered with designers like Rajo Laurel, Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Oliver Tolentino, and Olivia d’Aboville to produce masterpieces that combine style and sustainability, not sacrifice one for the other.
R2R empowers by being both a life and livelihood partner to the artisans through their Artisan Academy and Quality of Life Program, where the artisans hone their skills and get health and financial training. All of this is to fulfill their vision that one day, a Filipino born in poverty will not have to live in poverty.
Learn more about Rags2Riches and how they’re making a difference on their website at www.rags2riches.ph and follow their joyful stories on Facebook at facebook.com/rags2richesinc and on Instagram at @rags2richesinc.