Fashion is a statement, a personal expression, an extension of the wearer, a declaration of belief. An Obakki Foundation scarf makes a statement, certainly, for someone who values characteristics such as quality, simplicity, and beauty; it also says something much louder. Obakki Foundation is the philanthropic counterpart to Vancouver-based, sustainably-minded luxury label Obakki, founded by designer and humanitarian Treana Peake. Every Obakki Foundation scarf is assigned a village in Africa, and for every 500 sold, a water well is built in the designated location—an initiative that earned the organization a feature in Holt Renfrew’s sustainable shop-in-shop, H Project. Now, a limited-edition selection of three designs has launched at clothing retailer Anthropologie, both online and in all North American outposts. For Peake, the Endless Terrain series, made of 100 per cent rayon, embodies a trip to the Himba tribe in the remote regions of northern Namibia. For the Endless Terrain collection, every 500 sold fund the construction of a water well in a village in South Sudan.
There are 345 million people living without water in Africa; children and women often have to travel far distances to retrieve it, and are often forced to drink from unsanitary sources, resulting in illness that, for young ones, can affect their ability to attend school. The addition of a water well in a community can, therefore, be life-changing. The Desert scarf sales, in soft browns and tans, go towards a well in Alelchok; Sky, with shades of blue, is paired with Domonjo; the taupe and green Mirror is for water in Mayom. The scarves, then, become so much more than an accessory.