There’s nothing like a beautiful, breezy scarf to dress up an outfit (come rain, shine, or snow), and we felt especially convicted of this when we stumbled upon this gorgeous Lemlem scarf at J.Crew a few weeks ago. The kind saleswoman helping us make our purchases asked if we knew the story behind the scarf; no, we said as we shook our heads, we don’t. She proceeded to share the tale, and we were blown away by what we learned about this cause-marketed accessory.

Liya Kebede is an Ethiopian supermodel, actress, and former World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health. Her career has taken her all over the world and while her life has been richly blessed, she has never forgotten those who are less fortunate, especially those who live in her home country nestled in the heart of East Africa. After learning that traditional weavers in Ethiopia were losing their jobs because of little demand for their products, Liya decided to take action and step in to improve their sales – and their lives.

Liya founded Lemlem in 2007 to provide these weavers with jobs that would not only sustain their lifestyles and provide for their families, but that would also boost the economy in their hometowns. Lemlem, the Amharic word for “to bloom,” was instrumental in preserving the Ethiopian art of weaving, and it succeeded in providing many individuals with the jobs they needed to survive and to thrive.

Lemlem provides a range of bright, beautiful clothing and accessories, including the scarves available at retail stores like the aforementioned J.Crew and Barneys New York. By purchasing these handcrafted items, consumers are helping to preserve the ancient art of Ethiopian weaving while simultaneously making a difference in modern-day society by providing locals with a means of generating income. Now that’s a deal that can’t be beat.

For more information about Lemlem, please visit


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