Ashoka and C&A Foundation support 5 Leading Social Innovators in Fabric of Change Partnership

The first cohort of 5 social entrepreneurs for the Fabric of Change Fellowship who nurture solutions to fashion industry challenge

Washington, D.C. - February 7, 2017. Ashoka and C&A Foundation have identified the first cohort of five social entrepreneurs for the Fabric of Change Fellowship to nurture solutions to fashion industry challenges.  Launched in 2015, the joint initiative Fabric of Change supports innovators at various stages of their development, unlocking the unique power and potential of social entrepreneurs and their solutions to advance a shared vision: transforming the apparel industry as a force for good.

Fabric of Change Fellows have the vision, creativity and perseverance of entrepreneurs, but with a focus on solutions for the good of all. They are contributing to industry transformation in ways that enable everyone along the value chain to thrive.

Fellows will benefit from a lifetime of support from Ashoka’s network of peers, changemakers and partners. Based on their needs, they also receive a financial stipend for up to three years to accelerate their development.

“These five Fabric of Change Fellows are also Ashoka Fellows.  They are among the world’s most creative and upstanding social entrepreneurs in and they have tremendous potential to create impact,” said Stéphanie Schmidt, managing director at Ashoka. “We are thrilled to be building such a strong cohort of Fellows with the Fabric of Change initiative. Ashoka’s global network will help them collaborate and bring their ideas to scale, and to realize sustainable positive impact on the apparel industry.”

Brandee Butler, Head of Gender Justice & Human Rights at C&A Foundation added:

“We are deeply inspired by the creativity, ingenuity and tenacity of these five Fellows.  Through the Fabric of Change partnership, C&A Foundation is proud to support their work and to enable access to the expertise, networks and resources they need to refine and scale their innovations.”

Together, Ashoka and C&A Foundation have selected the following innovators whose work has inspired the collective vision for the Fabric of Change Initiative.

Kohl Gill is addressing the lack of transparency in global supply chains and giving workers a voice through real-time reporting about labor conditions.

Organization: LaborVoices
Location: USA
Learn More:


Gabriel Rivera Zambrano is creating new opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs through an alternative model of textile production with better labor conditions.

Organization: Altitud
Location: Mexico
Learn More:


Ashila Mapalagama has established the “Stand-Up” labor movement and an alternative insurance system for garment workers.

Organisation: Stand Up
Location: Sri Lanka
Learn More:


Maria Almazan

María Almazán is re-invigorating the European textile sector using an ecosystem approach to drive sustainability throughout the value chain, and working with cooperative factory networks, brands and consumers to adopt new models for purchasing and consuming.

Organization: Latitude
Location: Spain
Learn More:


Ashif Shaikh - India

Shaikh Saif Rashid launched APON - a multi-stakeholder worker wellbeing scheme to ensure the wellbeing of Bangladesh’s 4 million garment factory workers. Its in-factory retail outlets provide discounted access to packaged food, hygienic products and other disposables. Workers buying these goods accrue points on a digital benefit card which they can use toward APON’s zero-cash healthcare scheme.

Organisation: APON - Inclusive Well Being for Makers
Location: Bangladesh
Learn More:


ASHOKA is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs—individuals with new ideas to systemically address the world’s biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. Over 35 years, we have supported more than 3,500 social entrepreneurs in 90 countries with solutions addressing society’s most pressing issues. Ashoka’s vision is a world in which Everyone is a Changemaker—a society that responds quickly and effectively to challenges, and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem.

C&A FOUNDATION is here to transform the fashion industry. We give our partners the financial support, expertise and networks so they can make the fashion industry work better for every person it touches. We do this because we believe that despite the vast and complex challenges we face, we can work together to make fashion a force for good.  www.candafoundation.org

For more information, contact Ashoka:
Felicity McLean
[email protected]

C&A Foundation
Stephanie Klotz
[email protected]