Shwe is about fashion, women’s empowerment and giving a voice to generations and cultures that are no longer heard. Julia Buttery, the incredible Brazilian behind the brand, is based in Durban, South Africa. Before moving to Durban, Julia worked for Roberto Cavalli in Milan. After arriving in Durban, Julia decided to use her experience to create a different kind of fashion, involving women refugees in Durban and elderly ladies from a local home for the elderly.
The brand employs 2 sewing professors that teach women to sew and knit as a means to generate income for their families. Julia provides materials, training and educational support, so that the women eventually can open their own businesses.
With the help of these women, Julia and her collaborators developed a collection with local fabrics called Shwe – The Wearable Library. “Shwe” because of the name of the traditional fabric from South Africa and Lesotho – Shweshwe, and “The Wearable Library” because Julia believes that each piece has its own history - the story of who produced the fabric and the woman who sewed or knit it. The objective is to expand and help more and more women support themselves and be heard.