Sustainable Retailer Sells Masks for Relief in Kenya

Source: RoHo Goods

RoHo is an ethical brand that sells accessories and apparel handcrafted by 400 artisans in Kenya – 95% of whom are women. RoHo’s founder, Caleigh Hernandez, saw an opportunity to assist more than 300 artisans and their families, upwards of 1,500 people, who are food insecure in Kenya as a result of COVID-19. 

Hernandez and her family began making double-sided masks in Santa Barbara out of African kitenge and batik fabric from her travels. Since launching, RoHo has sold over 800 masks, with profits being allocated to ensuring food security for those in Kenya. To date, mask sales have ensured food security for their artisans and families through the end of June. 

RoHo has also made a huge social impact in the US; 75 RoHo masks were gifted by a generous donor to Bellevue Hospital in NYC for volunteer staff in need of PPE. Since then, RoHo has created a gifting program to donate masks to three nonprofit partners. Through this program, RoHo donated 300 masks to Doctor’s without Walls, centered around the homeless population in Santa Barbara, The MD Anderson Cancer Center in Camden, NJ and Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans, LA. 

“During this uncertain time, we have found a way to connect with consumers and keep them safe, while also ensuring our artisans are healthy. Before this, I would not have considered myself a crafty person. But the need arose, and we began this project on borrowed sewing machines, watching YouTube videos on mask making over and over. While our mask making skills have definitely improved since our initial orders, all the masks are made of beautiful East African and are very durable. Plus, it’s more than a mask, it’s an opportunity to provide food security to those who are in desperate need. And the outpouring of support has been incredible. We are so grateful,” said Hernandez.

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