North central Phoenix native and Xavier College Prep graduate Stefanie Smith, who has called southern Sweden home for the last 5 years, has partnered with a Swede, a German, and an Albanian to create a social business that empowers women in rural Albania.

That new endeavor, Pitupi, sells eco-friendly, organic, and adorable clothes made in a fair trade workshop set up by Smith and her colleagues. Her goal with the business is to put the spotlight on the darker side of the fashion industry, and to push for an industry where the garment worker is visible and more empowered.

Smith, who also is an All Saints Episcopal Day School alumnus, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to kick-start the business, procure the children’s fabrics from Turkey. She also wants to bring attention to the issue of gender equality through employment. The area where the clothes are made suffers significantly from domestic violence and human trafficking, and it is Smith’s hope that Pitupi can give hope and opportunity seven incredible women, their children, and the community at large

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