A socially responsible label, made in Ghana

We are a business with purpose. We are proudly Ghanaian made. And we believe in the transformative impact of economically empowered women.

We also make kick-ass clothing in mind blowing prints.


Since inception, YEVU’s aim has been to provide women in Ghana’s informal sector jobs, a better and more sustainable income, and ultimately, access to improved livelihoods for families and immediate communities. 


 Over the years, our journey has been marked by many challenges, but our stamina and resilience stems from our powerhouse team of women in Ghana. These women have always been at the core of what we do and why we do it. Our relationships have been built over years of collective and transparent decision making, shared learning, and mutual goal setting. 


 So we have decided to tell this story [the no bullshit version] as it has defined how and why we operate today. We want you to know exactly what you’re buying, how it came to be, and why it came to be.


Our Why.

Every idea starts with a problem. So here is the problem.


Women are the backbone of a community, an economy, a country. They are entrepreneurs, mothers, sisters, teachers and community leaders. In Ghana, it’s women that dominate the informal sector, owning and operating the vast majority of little business that scatter the roads, markets and remote communities. They sell you rice, they clean your houses, they make your lunch, they repair your clothes, they cut your hair, they do the heavy lifting, literally. Yet, working in this informal sector is a vulnerable place to be - it’s characterised by underemployment, unsafe working conditions, precarious work relationships, low wages and no safety net. The majority of those working in the informal sector are living with high income insecurity, and the majority of those people are women. A whopping 80% of all economic activity in Ghana is in the informal sector, and women make up 70% of that sector. You do the math. 


To make the situation that much more difficult, women in Ghana have less access to capital and savings mechanisms, limiting their ability to invest in their businesses and expand their earning capabilities. So they own and operate all these businesses, but can’t grow them. In a nutshell, when it comes to jobs, income, opportunity and choice, women in Ghana are left behind. Which is kind of ironic, considering that women are the ones most likely to spend whatever income they do make on the health and education of their families and immediate communities. They are the ones that will likely spend their first bulk payment on sending their daughter to school.

What we do. 


Transparency is the best policy, so that’s what we’ll be serving up. YEVU is a tiny tiny drop in a gigantic ocean - we are not alleviating systemic social problems, we’ll leave that to the big guys. 


What we are is a business with purpose. Our purpose is to change the circumstances for a group of women in Ghana that were once amongst the most vulnerable, through creating jobs with dignity, income that is sustainable and fair, and skills that can contribute to long term financial independence. Big picture, we want to create opportunities for the daughters of these women, because, as research has shown us, if you educate a girl then you educate a whole nation. 


We have formed relationships; created trust; built and facilitated physical workshops from the ground up in Accra; and developed and nurtured skills. Now, 7 years on we have consolidated an ironclad team of formalised female workers under the YEVU name. And they are running the show. They are financially independent, empowered, confident, and making choices for themselves and their families. And they are also making damn cool clothes that make people feel genuinely happy. 


But are we actually making a difference? Let's take a look at some data.

Some nerd info: This data has been collected through a few different methods. We've used existing research on living wages, our own business data on wages and production, and surveys and interviews with past and current employees in Ghana. The interviews and survey aim to capture data on whether or not there has been some personal and relational change for the women that we work with in Ghana, which can hopefully tell us how empowered each woman feels as a result of sustainable and fair employment. We used Oxfam's Framework for Measuring Women's Empowerment to guide our impact evaluation. Nerd out friends.

1. We create fair and sustainable jobs.


 

# 17 formerly unemployed and financially vulnerable individuals currently employed in full time jobs.


# 80% are women. One third are single mums. 


# 25,000 garments manufactured in YEVU workshops since inception.


# 60,000+ yards of wax print fabric bought from female led micro-enterprises.















2. We pay above living wage.

2. We pay above living wage.


# YEVU workers earn 2-3 times what they were making before joining YEVU. 


# All YEVU workers earn above the living wage (based on current living wage data in Ghana). 


# 100% paid through direct mobile money transfers to each individual.


# 100% of current female YEVU employees have bank accounts. 


# For over 85% of our team, YEVU income pays for school fees, food for families, rent, family healthcare and 

emergencies.








3. We invest in workforce development. 


# 380 hours of training provided to the team in technical skills. 


# We run a free apprenticeship program for young disadvantaged women, with at least 4 trainees, fully supported, at any given time.


# 30 team members up skilled in financial literacy.


# 58% of our team can now make patterns with no assistance and 92% are totally confident cutting large quantities of cloth. 


# 100% of our team feel that their technical skills are better than their counterparts because of YEVU. 




4. Women's economic empowerment.

# 170 family and community members dependent on the income generated through YEVU.  


# Every child of every YEVU team member attends school. 


# 88% of our team feel that they are a person of worth and equal to others. For the women, this is derived from access to income, total independence and self-sufficiency as a single mum. 


# 94% of our team feel like new skills and capabilities learnt through YEVU will help them to achieve their dreams.










How we do it. 

1. Design


Initially, our design work was carried out in Australia by our network of designers and pattern makers. Now, we can proudly say that the majority of this design process is carried out with our team in our Accra workshop thanks to the ongoing training and capacity building between our Australian designers and our makers on the ground in Ghana. 


Our philosophy around design is to keep it simple and let the print do the talking, so we often revisit YEVU fave classic cuts, introducing only a handful of new considered designs in each range. 


2. Print Sourcing

2. Print sourcing


We source all our prints from the wholesale market places of Accra and Kumasi (Ghana’s biggest cities), and Lome in Togo. The markets offer the absolute best choice of locally designed prints, and the majority of micro-enterprise vendors are female owned! 


The tricky part of the process is finding each killer print in the quantities needed meet our production targets for each range – we need somewhere between 300 and 400 yards in each print. Scattered over miles of marketplace, we REALLY work for these amazing locally designed prints. Thanks to the local textile houses, ATL, GTP, GTMC, Printex and Woodin for making these fabrics for us to buy. 




3. Production


After sourcing prints, these massive quantities are transported to our Accra workshop. Every yard of fabric is tested for colour bleed, pre-washed by hand and hung to dry in the hot Ghanaian sun. Production Manager Felicia distributes all the fabric to our team of makers, and every single YEVU item is meticulously made in our Accra workshop. 


We believe in in-house production and outsource almost none of what we sell. Everything from pattern making and training to quality control is carried out by our team on site in our central workshop that we have built in Amasoman. After two months of production on each range, a thorough quality control is carried out by our QA team, and thousands of units are ironed, labelled and boxed up, ready to be sent to our dispatch partner in Sydney, Australia.




4. On your back


We aim to release four ranges per year, which have absolutely no correlation with fashion seasonality. Our garms are for anywhere, anytime fun. We are strictly retail - we have never wholesaled and don't plan to start, because we love selling directly to you through this fancy website and through our bi-annual pop up extravaganzas! 


If you’re lucky enough to be in the right city at the right time, then you may get to experience one of our pop up stores in the warmer months. Thus far we've got a whopping 10 pop ups under our belt, having appeared in Melbourne, London and Sydney. 




The team. 

Felicia Adwubi

Head of Production, YEVU Clothing and Co-Founder, The YEVU Foundation 

Anna Robertson

Founder, YEVU Clothing and Co-Founder, The YEVU Foundation 

Lydia Akplehy
Lydia Akplehy
Lead Seamstress

Elizabeth Asantewaa
Elizabeth Asantewaa
Seamstress

Vivien Nyavi
Vivien Nyavi
Lead Seamstress

Mary Osei
Mary Osei 
Seamstress

Josephine Nartey
Josephine Nartey
Seamstress

Lydia Amankwaa
Lydia Amankwaa
Seamstress

Stella Appaw
Stella Appaw
Seamstress

Felicia Nuamah
Felicia Nuamah 
Seamstress

Emmanuel Effah
Emmanuel Effah
Tailor

Naomi Korshiwor Gbeti
Naomi Korshiwor Gbeti
Seamstress

Ernest Duah
Ernest Duah
Tailor
George Nassah
George Nassah
Operations Coordinator 

Redeemer Asetsiwah
Redeemer Asetsiwah
Procurement Officer

Alberta Dellor
Alberta Dellor
Administrative and Finance Coordinator
Matilda Amponsah
Matilda Amponsah
Apprentice
Cecila Gyabeng
Cecila Gyabeng
Apprentice

Philomena Akaso
Philomena Akaso
Lead Seamstress

Tessa Curran
Tessa Curran 
Content Producer

Partnerships & Projects. 

Avenue


Since January 2019, YEVU has worked in partnership with social enterprise, Avenue. As part of the Fighting Chance enterprise model, Avenue is a co-working space where people of all abilities are supported to work, socialise and develop their individual skills, regardless of their support needs. The amazing team at Avenue Parramatta fulfil all of our e-commerce needs, from warehousing, packing and shipping orders, to customer support and management. YEVU believes that everyone deserves the right to contribute to society and should not be excluded from the economy simply because of their disability. Aligning with our values of economic empowerment and skill training, we could not be prouder to be a part of this positive impact in an Australian context. 


So now you know, make a purchase here on our website, and you are not only supporting our team of women in Ghana, but you're also contributing to the personal development and meaningful employment of the men and women who are lovingly fulfilling your YEVU order. Read more about Avenue here.

Cova


Our partnership with The Cova project is part of our community impact initiative. We are finally in a position where we can support women beyond the walls of our production hub, and into the community, reaching girls and women that have been excluded from access to education, put her at risk of infection or force her to use her body as currency in order to buy pads.


We are working together to provide sustainable menstrual hygiene solutions, flow cups, educational materials and knowledge around personal health and development to girls and women in our Accra communities who are experiencing disadvantage due to lack of financial resources and access to basic necessities.


Read more about Cova here andhere