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Who Made My Mask?

I made your mask

We know, it’s Labor Day and we are in the midst of COVID-19 but we still have to ensure that the rights of our workers especially those in Front line are not forsaken. In this “Coronavirus edition” of MAYDAY, we ask “Who made my mask?”.

I made your masks.
Lovis Oduro during our mask production

In this “Coronavirus edition” of #LaborDay, we address two very current problems by asking “Who made my mask?”. With the world on lockdown and thinking about how to address a “phase II” of careful coexistence with the virus, face masks are recommended for the general population.

Two issues, similar to those of fast fashion, arise. The first is about materials and disposal. Millions of single-use, surgical type face masks made of non-woven fabrics are being distributed, used, and thrown away – often as litter on our city’s streets – and this is going to cause a landfill problem.

The second is the ethical side of production: who is making these masks? In what conditions? With the garment business in severe crisis and governments encouraging conversion to meet the demand for masks, many factories are calling back workers. Where sub-minimum-wage pay and poor working conditions were a sad norm before the crisis, one that has caused disasters like Rana Plaza, now this situation is almost a guarantee of potentially fatal infection during coronavirus).

I Made Your Mask

Our New In… SOON

At Ebony By Bernice, we’ve converted half of our production to mask making because of the size of Our production facility. In this way, however, We’re “guaranteeing worker safety, to enable our workers to still earn their minimum wage whilst empowering them with our Ethical Business Model.

Who Made My Mask

Soon Online

In the next days Our Ebony By Bernice Face masks will be available online. 

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How to help Small Businesses in time of COVID-19

Ebony By Bernice - Small Businesses

Businesses of all sizes have been hit hard in this challenging new age of social distancing and self-isolation, but the blow has been catastrophic for small operations that rely on in-person transactions.

new survey from WalletHub found that 87 percent of small business owners say they are struggling due to the coronavirus.

Rachel Beider, owner of Press Massage in Brooklyn, is one such owner. Since “shelter-in-place” orders forced her to temporarily close her massage therapy business, she has had to lay off over 30 employees and nearly a dozen independent contractors.

“I have only been able to keep two salaried employees on”, she says.

With no precise ETA on when doors can reopen, businesses like Beider’s are in danger of closing forever — a loss not only for workers and their communities, but also for the American job market at large. According to the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 44 percent of economic activity

In addition to state and federal aid, small businesses need our support right now. Here are some ways consumers can help.

1. Buy a gift card for a friend — and encourage them to buy for someone else

“Purchasing gift cards is a great idea for businesses that you are going to use anyway,” says Dennis Shirshikov, an economic analyst at Fit Small Business. “It gives [businesses] like salons and yoga studios some cash to support employees and reassures them that they will still have customers.”

If you have the means, think of approaching gift cards like you would a chain letter. Send a $5 or $10 gift card to your favorite business to a local friend, and then ask them to do the same for another business.

2. Social media shoutouts are free. Give them generously.

“With more businesses going digital and needing to build traction, ‘liking’, commenting, reposting, tagging us in your purchases and unboxing videos [on social media] really helps with engagement, which, in turn, leads to more visibility and sales,” Love says.

Social media plugs are a free way to show your support and the payoff is almost instantaneous. “[Liplove] has seen a significant increase in engagement and shares as our customers began to promote our messages of love and empowerment to their networks during this season. This has caused a boost in not only traffic to our website that originated from social media, but also from organic search.”

3. Refill booze and hand sanitizer from local distilleries

With hand sanitizer sold out just about everywhere, various distilleries have stepped up to meet the demand. Crater Lake Spirits in Oregon, has made complimentary sanitizer available to customers, a spokesperson for the brand confirms. Rollins Distillery in Gulf Breeze, Florida is giving hand sanitizer away on a first-come, first-serve basis. So, next time you’re looking to stock up your liquor cabinet, call your local distillery to see if they can also throw in some hand sanitizer. Plan to get there early and to BYOB (bring your own bottle).

4. Donate your expertise with a free consultation

“Business owners need legal, accounting and insurance help negotiating issues, outstanding debts and granular disputes,” Baron Christopher Hanson, lead consultant and owner of RedBaron Consulting, says. “If you are a CEO, CFO or in-house lawyer stuck at home, try calling your favorite local businesses to simply consult with them, help answer pressing questions and alleviate fears.” 

5. Been meaning to leave a positive review? Now’s the time to do it.

“People have more time to leave positive reviews and personal testimonies on Yelp, Google and other online platforms,” Elina Fedotova, owner of Elina Organics in Chicago and Kalamazoo, Michigan, says. “That can help to direct new clients to [the business].

Love adds that a glowing review also “helps us business owners stay sane by putting a smile on our faces”.

Be patient. We’re all adjusting to this new normal.

“The pandemic has disrupted nearly everything for businesses — including supply chains, vendor reliability and employee productivity,” says Abhi Lokesh, CEO of Fracture, a small business focused on photo decor in Gainesville, Florida. “Much of the business world is scrambling to keep things together and adjust to this new normal. It’s always uplifting and morale-boosting when we hear from customers who are empathetic to what we’re going through.”

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Support

Support_Ebony By Bernice

As we step out into unfamiliar territories small indies are hit worse during a lockdown and in order for Small Businesses to survive, we need you!
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A few things you can do to support your independent businesses during this time:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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• At a time where you are on lockdown Indies are still online. At the moment we’re offering a 15% discount across all ethical fashion; SUPPORT15 and FREE EU SHIPPING⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• The rumours are true, a happy dance does occur when you buy from a small business; full-on party at the moment!
• Buy a gift card! Share the sustainable fashion love to your loved ones.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• Leave reviews on the recent purchases you have made or experience you have had with your small indie business. This shows others that we’re getting it right for you which makes us happy and gives support for new customers to trust us.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• Share the LOVE – Like, comment, share our social media posts and tell your family & friends about us. I will LOVE YOU FOREVER!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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And remember, this too shall pass, so in the meantime please reach out to those that need it, help where you can and look after & support each other. 

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What Our Spring Summer Collection 19 stands for

Ebony By Bernice

This year, we’ve decided to dedicate our Spring Summer 2019 collection to most of the Akan names in Ghana. Akan is the biggest ethnic group and clan in Ghana. It consists of the eastern, western, central and Ashanti region. The Akan clan compromises 4 regions in Ghana among the 16 regions in Ghana.

Dufie: Dufie stands for Adinkra which are symbols in the Akan language. Visual symbols representing concepts or aphorisms, originally created by the Akan of Ghana and the Gyaman of Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa, often used as artistic devices.

Some examples of Adinkra symbols.

Asantewaa: Asantewaa comes from the warrior Yaa Asantewaa who fought In 1900 she led the Ashanti war known as the War of the Golden Stool, also known as the Yaa Asantewaa war, against British colonialism.

A picture of Yaa Asantewaa

Konadu: Konadu means justice. They are good women in terms of their speech, the way they represent themselves and also very good cookers. They love everyone and everything that surrounds them. They are very sensitive, inspirational and idealistic as well. They are well mannered in their behaviour.

Obaapa: Obaapa is normally referred to someone who helps. They are good women in terms of their speech, the way they represent themselves and also very good cooks. They love everyone and everything that surrounds them. They are very sensitive, inspirational and idealistic as well. They are well mannered in their behaviour.

Afra: Afra means earth. They are peaceful rulers, Very Creative, Have kind-hearted and loving. Very strong-minded people. Have strong promising nature that always attracts people towards them, but their promising nature makes them sometimes stubborn towards their work and decision making.

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Ethically Made African Print Products, why to choose them

African Print is a trend in the Global Fashion in the last years. There has been a big increase in demand since Marvel Studios released “Black Panther” in 2018. Which featured a lot of African Prints Clothing such as Dashiki, Kente, Dutch Wax, Ankara, etc.. All these factors have also seen a dramatical increase in it’s a production. Wherein most of the cases, Ethically Made African Print products are not taken into considerations.

Ethically Made African Print Products
Model wearing Afra from Ebony By Bernice

Below we’ve listed some reasons why you should buy ethically made African print clothing. Which are companies that treat their workers well and minimise their environmental impact:

Ethically Made African Print Products is better for the people

Unfortunately, Fast fashion brands in developing countries don’t follow any ethics since there isn’t any requirement to do so. This has kept the cost of their products down. At the cost of low pay and bad working conditions in these countries. By switching to Ethically Made African Print Products you are ensuring that the clothing you choose to spend your money on hasn’t taken advantage of workers or used child labour.

Ethically Made African Print Products is better for the planet

Ethically Made African Print Products are synonym of Wellbeing for the people and the planet. They reduce their environmental impacts as much as they can. From the Transparency of their supply chains to the landfill impact, and the usage of Natural resources. It’s safe to say Ethical fashion is a real solution for the environment. In choosing Ethical Fashion you can say no to supporting the negative environmental impact that the fashion industry is causing, and in-turn reduces your own environmental footprint.

You should do it for yourself

Fast fashion is all about trends because they keep on telling you that. Many Ethically Made African Print Brands like Ebony By Bernice focus on creating timeless pieces of high quality. Curate your own personal style, say goodbye to money-wasting fashion trends and wear clothes that reflect you and long-lasting.

All these are synonyms of quality

Ethically Made African Print Products focus on quality, using materials and finishes that are made to long-last. Which reciprocity is good for the environment. The clothing produced by Ethical Fashion brands is made to last. Their aim is to get you to educate consumers, people become more aware of the real cost of the products. And of the unsafe working conditions and inferior quality associated with the “race to the bottom” phenomenon. In choosing Ethical Brands that provide quality, you reduce your waste as well as the amount of clothing that you buy.

Do you already follow Ethical African Fashion Products? Or are you trying to make the switch? Let us know your tips and advice…

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Everything you need to know

Ebony By Bernice

Hi Ebony By Bernice Family,

Hope you are all doing okay, wherever you are in the world! We are very lucky to be based in Vicenza, Italy where things still feel fairly normal when we leave the house, but we know so many other countries and even regions in Italy have stricter rules.

If you are one of our followers from other states, we are sending you so much love and if there is anything we can do to help please reach out.

New Ethically made collection

I’ll be honest, the future of Ebony By Bernice feels uncertain during these times with the majority of the world in lockdown. We have been hit hard…. because really who needs a bikini when everyone is stuck indoors? We aren’t ready to shut our doors though, Ebony By Bernice has been my everything for almost 3 years, she is my baby and she has grown with me. So we have made the decision to push through and design/ethically produce a new amazing collection for the next summer. It was an order to Canada a few weeks ago that really made me think, WOW how far we have come in 3 years, and how much further my team and I want to keep going.

We will be introducing completely new styles and won’t be repeating any current styles, and introducing a really amazing sustainable fabric that we have not used before, and launching some new designs that we hope our Mumma followers will love as much as us 🙂 So if you have been eyeing off a bikini from our current collection, snatch it up because once we sell out we won’t be bringing back ANY of the same styles in new colours. 

Shop Small…. Shop Ethical… Support where you can

It breaks my heart that so many small businesses have had to close their doors and shut down their incomes because of what is happening in the world. Even more heartbreaking in 3rd world countries that depend on tourism to feed their families. Our Suppliers in Ghana  for instance solely  financially dependent on  the Apparel  production and with lot’s of cancelled orders, there are no other sources of income for then, so we are helping them get through this as best we can through our new product line: Ethically made and reusable Face Mask

The state of the world could take a long time to recover from this.

Wherever possible, remember to try to support small businesses. It could be as simple as buying fruit and veggies from the local markets or boutique shops over the larger commercial grocery stores. Your support could mean they stay open.

And again I want to thank you all for being here, whether you have shopped our Ethically made swimwear in the past, followed us on Instagram or liked a photo, or just simply being here on our VIP list, having you in this community means more to me than you could ever know!

x Bernice & the Ebony By Bernice team

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The meaning of weekday Akan names

Akan names

The Akan people of Ghana frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born. Day names are a cultural practice of the Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast. Everyday corresponds to a different Akan male and female name.

Most names are later spelt and pronounced differently. The variation of the spellings and pronunciations depends on the Subcultural Akan group. For example, the Fante people pronounced all the day names differently whilst the Akuampim people spelt it differently but pronounced it the same as the Akans.

Below are the names given based on the day of birth:

Monday:

  • The name of the day in the Akan language is Edwoada, Boys born on these days are called Kwadwo and girls are called Adwoa. Alongside with this, Adwoa might mean someone with a philosophical, determined and intense with a desire to endure, and often religious soul. Adwoah Aboah a Ghanaian British Model and Activist is one of the famous Ghanaian people with this name.
Adwoa Aboah British Ghanaian Activists and Model
Adwaoh Aboah

Tuesday:

  • This day is known to be in the Akan language as 3benada, Males born these days are called Kwabena whilst the females are named Abenaa. A lot of famous Ghanaians hold this name, among them, is Dylan Kwabena Mill know as Dizzee Rascal, Ghanian British musician.
Dizzee Rascal
Dizzee Rascal

Wednesday:

  • Wukuada is the Ghanaian name of Wednesday. Males born on Wednesday are called Kwaku whilst females are called Akua. Wednesday borns are Seemingly unemotional, are calm and reserved, haughty and detached. Most certainly, they are sober and very deep, but also shy, honest, and of impeccable morality. Akua Naru is a famous Ghaianain American Mc and rapper with this weekday name.
Akua Naru in Vienna
Akua Naru & The Digflo Band “The Miner’s Canary Tour” at Cafe Leopold in Vienna

Thursday:

  • Yawoada is the Akan name for this day. Yaw is the name given the male born on this day whilst Yaa is the name for the female. Thursday born has a lot of celebrities from Ghana. Among the list are Ghanaian footballers Yaw Antwi, Yaw Amankwaa Mireku and many more. Let not forget the Asante Queen Yaa Asantewaa who fought for the Edjuaso Empire during the colonisation, Where one of our swimwear came from.
Yaa Asatewaa
Yaa Asantewaaa at the Yaa Asantewaa Museum

Friday:

  • Weekend 3noa ne fiada! Which means Weekend starts from Friday in the Ashanti language. This day is one of our favourite days because Friday is the birthday of our CEO & Founder: Bernice Boakye Dufie, who has his Akan original name as Afia. Friday is also the birthday of the late former United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan.
Kofi Annan at the World Economic Forum in 2009
Kofi Annan at the World Economic Forum in 2009

Saturday:

  • Memeneda is the Akan name for Saturday. The male born on this day are called Kwame whilst females are called Ama. Among Saturday borns, we have the famous Actress Nana Ama MC Brown, Ama Asante British Ghanaian Writer, Director and Filmmaker.
Amma Asante at Miami international film festival.
Amma Asante at Miami international film festival.

Sunday:

  • The last but not the least is Kwasiada: Sunday. Those born on Sunday are called Kwasi(male) and Akosua(female). Among them is Akosua Busia, Ghana naturalised British Actress.
Akosua Busia
Akosua Busua

And that was a wrap. Hope you’ve had some culture about Ghanaians week name and why they are given. Let me know what in think in the comment below.

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3 Ways Ethical Fashion Brands can increase Customer Lifetime Value

Ethical Fashion

1. Trust

With supply chain transparency increasingly becoming more of a “norm”, more people are starting to take notice.

Better yet? Those sustainable materials you’re using are being appreciated. The stats back it up. Just go to Google Trends and search “Sustainable Fashion” (filter for the past 5 years).

“????.. ???”

Trust

Well, this leads us to the main topic… People are loyal to brands that they trust. Pairing this with your ethical production? Even better. Everyone loves to be involved with something good! Now, ???? ??? ???? ???????? ??????? ????, don’t just tell them the features. Once they understand you care about their well-being, trust is built much easier. Telling them that the garment is made “organically” just won’t do it.

Benefits > Features. Many brands neglect this. I’ve seen it day after day…

As someone who owns an agency, I look at countless Facebook Ads, websites and social media content of ethical fashion brands every single day. So, the common denominator?

Telling, not showing. Show WHY your garments benefit them. They will remember and stick with you longer!

2. Educate

They don’t know what they don’t know. Quite possibly the most lethal bottleneck of all.

Why? Confusion = Loss of interested Let me put it into perspective: Think back to calculus…???? ????? ?(?) ?? ?? ???? ?? ??????????2?′(?) + ?′(2?) +4?(2?) − 3 = ?(?)((?′ (?) + ?(?)) Enticing right?Probably not.

Why? Confusion = Loss of interested Let me put it into perspective: Think back to calculus…???? ????? ?(?) ?? ?? ???? ?? ??????????2?′(?) + ?′(2?) +4?(2?) − 3 = ?(?)((?′ (?) + ?(?)) Enticing right? Probably not.

Sustainability Education

This is what’s going on for your potential customers. Most of your potential customers don’t know what “deadstock” is. Most don’t know the health effects that synthetic materials or dyes have to their skin. Heck, most don’t know why “organic cotton” matters. This isn’t their fault though.

Once you step in and give some value, you’ve gained their respect. Your job now? Whether you’re creating content for your social media, refining your product descriptions or even writing ad copy… Make sure to educate. They will appreciate it and remember you

3. Share and Communicate your values

Regardless of the size of the company, communication is fundamental for business success. Communication is the process that enables materialization and achievement of public relation goals. The communication process is vital since it is done to inform, convince, motivate and provide mutual understanding.

Communication plays a crucial role in any sustainability strategy. When there is a lack of internal communication within an organization, it would be hard to implement the changes with respect to making the organization more sustainable.

Sustainable Values

Moreover, external communication with the customers, work partners and the community is a must for sustainability strategies, otherwise, the organization may face with loses in terms of sales of goods or services, hence there is an increasing trend towards sustainability at a global scale.

The reason why communication is fundamental for sustainable development can be explained by considering the nature of sustainability. First of all, societal discourse is fundamental to provide legitimacy in sustainable development.

Second, sustainability is a highly complex issue that requires overcoming specific regarding societal communication.

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Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter

Excited to see US Congress Democrat Leaders wearing scarves made from one of our Ghanaian masterpieces, our colourful Geometric Design Kente cloth to commemorate George Floyd.

Kente cloth designs reflect the history of all Black People and respects the pride of our African Heritage.

At Ebony By Bernice one of our goals is to promote African and Ghanaian culture through our authentic African fabrics, especially Kente.

Democrats wearing Kente cloth

Ebony By Bernice is a Black owned business which supports #blacklivesmatter movement. We don’t just believe it – we are committed to taking actions and work towards long-term change.


Diversity and Inclusion are the founding principles of our Company. We will continue to be proactive and hope that, as a small Swimwear Brand, we can play our part in this important movement for change, and can make a positive impact on all our Stakeholders.

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Fashion Revolution Week

Fashion Revolution

This year marked the 6th anniversary of the Ranaplaza factory collapsed which killed 1138 people and injured many more on 24th April 2013 making it the 4th largest Industrial Disaster in History. From this day, Fashion Revolution was born to ensure that companies to demonstrate transparency in their supply chain.

During this week, brands and producers demonstrate with the hashtag #imadeyourclothes and to demonstrate transparency in their supply chain.

We couldn’t not participate in this week. Transparency is our core pillar and also we believe that everyone who works and collaborates with us deserves to be seen, and you as Customers also deserve to know them.

Our Fashion Revolution Week in Numbers

We believe that Transparency is a way to bring wider recognition to the many skilled workers and artisans within the fashion supply chain. This, in turn, will help ensure their work is properly valued and justly remunerated in the future.