Susan Hull Walker's clothing line Ibu is more than just pretty designs. It stands for something. The clothing is made by women in developing countries like China, Madagascar, Laos, and Peru, and the word Ibu means woman of respect in Indonesian. “I found that women used textiles to document stories and events,” says Walker. “I wanted to sell pieces that like to a market that could appreciate the art and not let the craft be lost.”
Walker created the line after becoming interested in women’s financial independence. “The women are able to stay in their houses and villages and don’t have to travel to the city,” says Walker. “The money helps them become leaders, get invited into elders circles, and stop being beaten by their husbands and families. I’ve only seen positive things come from the program.”
Walker uses cooperatives made and created by women to get her products. She commissions the work and the cooperative decides how much to pay each worker. Many of the garments take weeks to make because of their intricacies and the prices ($200-600) reflect the effort put in.
And now Holy City-ers can shop for a cause at Ibu's pop-up shop. Stop by 285 King St. on Fri. Oct. 25 and Sat. Oct. 26 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m to see the wares. Some of the proceeds will be given to Charleston’s Center for Women, which helps promote the economic and personal development of South Carolina women.