This bag changes everything
"Over the last eight years, we've been on a mission."
Since founding AMONG EQUALS as a not-for-profit fashion brand in 2015, we have been focused on empowering some of the most economically-disadvantaged women in Papua New Guinea through trade, by honouring their craft and paying the weavers a premium for their Bilum. This in turn provides communities with regular income for school fees and crucial living expenses.
AMONG EQUALS is an agent for change and through our not-for-profit we are committed to shining a light on the ancient craft of Bilum weaving to help create a sustainable industry for future generations of weavers.
We started with 30 weavers. Today we count
more than 2,000 women in our community
For thousands of years, Bilum has been handed down from mother to daughter. It is a symbolic and integral part of the country’s cultural heritage, as well as a crucial source of income for women. Through our not-for-profit endeavour we worked to identify and secure key international buyers in the global fashion market to grow the industry.
To date, we have sold more than 4,000 Bilum bags throughout 12 countries.
We are guided by women, for women
MEET FLORENCE JAUKAE KAMEL, a Goroka elder and crucial member of our team who acts as brand Ambassador and daily contact, liaising directly with weaving communities.
“If you are buying Bilum through AMONG EQUALS,you are buying a bag that has a very big downstream effect. One Bilum benefits 10 to 15 people. Families are supported, children go to school, and it is life-changing.”
What we really make is change
We are guided by elected community leaders. In 2017, AMONG EQUALS built the Blue Haus, a safe space funded by our brand for the benefit of the Goroka weavers. This was an important initiative in response to community request for a studio where the weavers could come together, teach, train and socialise. Importantly, this studio space has running water, sanitation and solar panels.
Over the years, our brand has also acted in response to community leaders’ requests for assistance with crucial services such as doctors’ fees, funeral expenses, covid masks and thermometers.
This year, we added solar panels to the Blue Haus and we are working towards creating similar safe spaces for each weaving community.