Catherine Tinsley: “Kate Spade & Company Redefining the Global Value Chain” (Huffington Post)

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The Huffington Post

Commencement season is upon us, and as people venture out to find “affordable luxury” graduation gifts, they may find themselves in a Kate Spade & Company boutique. There they will find not only the latest shoes, dresses, and signature handbags, but also merchandise with the on purpose label, a special line with an extraordinary backstory. This line of merchandise is part of a social enterprise initiative that is improving livelihoods and changing lives — Kate Spade’s on purpose products are made by teams of artisans in rural Rwanda. For the past two years, I have been part of a research team with Georgetown University McDonough School of Business colleagues, Ed Soule and Pietra Rivoli, evaluating the impact of this venture. A few of our research findings strike me as particularly noteworthy, as explained in our full report.