Cashmere in Zurich for a great cause: Luxe4Education
Luxe4Education is a great charity initiative devised by Marie Longin as a way of helping blind Chinese orphans get education through the sale of luxury cashmere. She set up Luxe4Education with this aim in mind, after living in Shanghai and starting a foster home there to provide care for blind orphans.
Marie holds regular cashmere sales in Zurich showcasing beautiful collections of classic and modern cashmere pieces, sweaters, cardigans, hoodies, ponchos, scarves and shawls, lots of accessories… as well as selected leather items and a fantastic line of socially-responsible jewellery. Most importantly 100% of the profits generated benefit projects and organisations that supporting the education of orphans in China.
Luxe4Education How it all Started
NiZ : What inspired you to start Luxe4Education?
Marie : It all started when we were in Shanghai, where I joined a local well established organization called Mifan Mama (the “rice mothers” in Mandarin). The core mission of this group was to provide rice to orphanages across China. Visiting the orphanages, we noticed that the blind children were often left to themselves, sitting on a chair for hours, as they did not have the skills to move around independently. We decided to create a home for them, where they would live in a family environment, learn independent living skills and autonomy, so they could eventually attend school.
When we moved to Zurich I wanted to stay involved. Because I love cashmere, I decided to start Luxe4Education : a 100% non profit organization that sells cashmere goods and funds projects in China that promote the education of orphans.
NiZ : How were you involved with the children in China ?
Marie : After we had spent almost a year working on creating this home for blind orphans, it finally opened in June 2012. My role as Education Program manager was to create a curriculum for each of the children we had (6 at the time, aged between 1 and 8 years old), and with a group of volunteers to teach the children every morning. It was an absolutely amazing experience, watching the children literaly blossom as time went by. I will always remenber a little girl who was afraid of everybody and everything when she first arrived. With time, she acquired self confidence, attended class with the others, developed her gross and fine motor skills, and was happy as can be.NiZ : How would you describe your cashmere collection ?
Marie : This story also started in Shanghai, where I met an amazing Franco-American couple who established a leading cashmere company 15 years ago and they are now manufacturing for many luxury brands in France. When I told them about my project, they were immediately enthusiastic, and we built a collection together. I would describe the collection as “classic”, with well cut V-necks, turtle-necks and cardigans, and some long pieces with or without buttons. All come in 7 different colours. We haven’t forgotten men either, and my favorite piece for them is a gorgeous bi-colour sweater with elbow patches. There are also a lot of accessories : scarves and shawls (an amazing two-metre long one that feels so luxurious !), hats, gloves … and lots more. Prices are very competitive around half the normal retail price.
For more information and the latest updates on what the Foundation is achieving for the charities please go to the website.
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