Dana Arbib and Farah Malik Helping Others
Dana Arbib and Farah Malik’s lives have long been intertwined with social justice, humanitarian work and accessories. After Farah’s work at a human rights education non-profit organization and Dana’s close connection to her father’s extensive philanthropy work, it was a natural fit that any path they took would be charged with a social edict. Dana and Farah—the former a Libyan Jew and the latter a Pakistani Muslim—decided to put their love of accessories to good use for both the consumer and the artisan. The resulting fashion line, A Peace Treaty, began in 2008 with the goal to highlight the often under-appreciated work of hand-crafting cultures in politically unstable regions of the world.
“When we started in 2008, there was a growing understanding of eco-fashion but still not very much emphasis or attention was placed on the human rights implications in fashion production,” Dana said. “A Peace Treaty is a social business setting up sustainable projects to revitalize cottage industries and family businesses at risk of closing down, but it also imparts knowledge, attitude change and a long-term readjustment within consumer culture and behavior.”
Dana and Farah base their work on a community empowerment approach. By elevating the value of hand-crafting skills and lauding artisans who have been overlooked or have received less and less attention, they are reinvigorating local artisan economies and employing the artisans at wages up to eight times the local wage.
Inspired by Counterpart International’s work to create enduring solutions for local communities, Dana and Farah donate nearly 10% of their profits to Counterpart International (Counterpart). A Peace Treaty has supported medical supplies in the Darfur region of Sudan, coral restoration and, most recently, reconstruction in Afghanistan.
“We chose Counterpart because we were impressed by the legitimate and genuine way in which they carry out work in so many different regions and program areas. With each collection and season, we shift our giving to a specific project and region that usually connects to the country the artisans are from,” Farah said. “Also, Dana’s father has a long history of philanthropy work and he had been directing his efforts to supporting Counterpart’s work. Connecting A Peace Treaty with Counterpart was an intentional act to follow in his footsteps.”
The scarves at A Peace Treaty are not only charged with social responsibility – they are beautiful. A Peace Treaty has been recognized throughout the fashion world including recent highlights in InStyle, New York Magazine and Marie Claire.
“With Farah’s background in International Development and my lineage from a highly philanthropic family, we really have developed firsthand knowledge of what beautiful things certain regions have to offer,” Dana said. “In our increasingly unstable times, it is an absolute promise to ourselves that we help those who live within these unstable regions by supporting their skills and craft.”
Web site: www.apeacetreaty.com