A dress for everyday that wears in with your every move.
"I wanted to create a dress as chic and as functional as a pair of blue jeans. A dress that I could garden in or wear to a garden party."
- Susie Crippen, Founder of 4
Everyone who comes in contact with the 4 dress benefits. From the African fabric merchants to the Ride 4 A Woman collective who sews the dresses to the consumers who live in them, this dress connects women around the world.
Our Home Base in Africa
Evelyn and Denis Rubamela founded Ride 4 A Woman in 2004 with eight women repairing and renting bicycles for tourists. Since then, this women’s collective has grown to employ 51 in the small mountain village of Bwindi, Uganda. Women make baskets, practice traditional Ugandan dance and sew the 4 dresses here. The center offers a micro-loan program, student sponsorships and provides access to clean water for the entire village. Ride 4 A Woman represents change and opportunity.
Ride 4 A Woman is our partner organization in Bwindi and we intend to provide a steady revenue stream to this women’s collective so they can support themselves.
Creating the 4 Dress
Fabric Buying in Kampala
We buy our fabric in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, in the glorious chaos of the outdoor market. Kampala is a 10-hour bus ride from Bwindi, where the Ride 4 A Woman collective sews the dresses.
"Everything I design is based in function. To take something that is functional and turn it into something beautiful is what I love to do."
- Susie Crippen
To prepare the fabrics, they are washed in buckets with vinegar to hold the color, then detergent and laid out on the grass to dry. Then we choose which fabrics will go with each style.
These dresses have to be easy to sew, no buttons, no zippers, no pockets, they are self-sustaining. Most of these women learned how to sew just five years ago. They now teach the other women how to sew so they can have an income too.