Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre (ITC), Simone Cipriani oversees the promotion of trade and incubation of creative micro-enterprises within marginalised communities in Africa and Haiti. Operated through the wider ‘Poor Communities and Trade Programme’ launched by the ITC, the Ethical Fashion Initiative, spearheaded by Cipriani, launched Ethical Fashion Africa Limited in Nairobi and through partnerships with designers such as Vivienne Westwood , Sass & Bide and Stella McCartney , has created a hub for creative manufacturing and production in countries such as Ghana and Uganda, using fair trade labour and ethical fashion practices.
A passionate advocate for fair trade and equal employment, Cipriani regularly speaks at international trade organisations and conferences such as the International Herald Tribune’s ‘Promise of Africa’ conference to which he was personally invited by Suzy Menkes and the Bespoke Fashion summit in Australia alongside designers Sass & Bide. Cipriani has also showcased the initiavive at several international trade fairs, such as Pitti Imaggine, and in July 2013 partnered with AltaRoma with the ‘Africa to Rome’ showcase to promote the work of Ghanaian designers Christie Browne and Kiki Clothing, as well as international labels Stella Jean and PortenierRoth.
Cipriani’s work at ITC also helped found Taytu, a luxury accessories label from Ethiopia that previously showcased at the Train Fashion Trade Show in New York. Similarly, the EFI Goddee, an e-commerce platform for sustainable, ethically made goods set up by Want Les Essentiels Co-Founders Byron and Dexter Peart.