R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund has invested in Fuchsia Shoes, a sustainable fashion brand manufacturing handcrafted shoes based on the traditional Pakistani khussas.
We deliver high quality, ethically made and environmentally responsible shoes to the American consumer directly. Our customers’ purchase of Fuchsia Shoes genuinely benefits the artisans who make them.”
R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund, an initiative of Realize Impact and Sprout Enterprise®, announced that the fund has invested in Fuchsia Shoes, a sustainable fashion brand headquartered in Seattle. Fuchsia Shoes manufactures handcrafted shoes based on the traditional Pakistani khussas enhanced for comfort and durability for the American consumer.
Fuchsia shoes are made in Sangla Hill, a remote town in Pakistan with a history stretching back to the time of Alexander the Great. Here, each pair of flats is handcrafted in a traditional workshop by a group of artisans who are using their skills to support their families and community. By making shoes for Fuchsia, these highly skilled artisans earn a respectable, living income which provides them and their family with food, shelter, education and health care.
During COVID lockdowns over the past two and half years, Fuchsia Shoes continued to employ these artisans, modifying its operations, and creating home-based production centers to continue its manufacture and distribution of shoes to US customers. Fuchsia Shoes grew from producing 200 pairs of shoes per month pre-lockdowns to having a production capacity of 5,000 pairs per month post-lockdowns.
Afshan Abbas, CEO and founder of Fuchsia, aims to increase recognition for the skill and craftsmanship of Pakistani shoemakers. “We want their craft to compete with Italian craftsmanship,” Abbas said, noting the disconnect between the skill-level of Pakistani shoemakers and the price of their goods. “We are making sure these artisans take home 3 times more than what they make in the local market.”
“What Fuchsia is all about, is delivering high quality, ethically made and environmentally responsible shoes to the American consumer directly. Our customers’ purchase of Fuchsia Shoes genuinely benefits the artisans who make them,” she said. Her vision is also global. “We want to create a responsible brand that is creating original and authentic products but also ensuring equitable opportunities for artisans around the globe,” she said.
With a current production capacity of 5,000 pairs of shoes per month, Fuchsia Shoes aims to scale via batch production in its manufacturing facility in Pakistan with an integration of additional artisan groups across Pakistan which will enable the company to double production to 10,000 pairs per month by 2023.
R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund joins the IIX Growth Fund, an impact investment fund investing in enterprises in South and Southeast Asia, as an investor in Fuchsia Shoes. As one of the finalists in IIX’s Impact Partners Pitch Fest earlier this year, Abbas is receiving IIX’s support for her capital raise as well as financing from the Singapore-based investment firm. Fuchsia Shoes will be participating in IIX’s Impact Partners Showcase October 27, 2022.
R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund was created by Realize Impact and Sprout Enterprise® to invest in early-stage enterprises creating sustainable livelihoods for rural communities with few economic alternatives. Women’s empowerment and sustainability are key investment themes of the fund.
Named as one of the Transformative 25 Funds, R.I.S.E. Artisan Fund has been recognized by Integrated Capital Investing this year for transforming finance to benefit people and the planet.