These DIY Patches Aren't Just Adorable--They Also Save Lives

These DIY Patches Aren't Just Adorable--They Also Save Lives

In the fashion world, it can be a challenge to be a smart consumer. (And we don’t just mean hunting down amazing sales.) With fast fashion becoming more and more commonplace, it’s tougher to know exactly where your money is going when you make a purchase—and, more importantly, that your cash is funding something good. With her latest project, DIY queen Erica Domesek, founder of wildly successful blog P.S. I Made This, aims to do her part in making shopping a socially beneficial enterprise.

Domesek teamed up with a non-profit called Indego Africa to create a line of super-colorful patches—she created the designs, and Indego’s team of all-female artisans in Rwanda hand-crafted patches from Domesek’s designs. All proceeds and profits from the sale of the patches ($40 for a set of two) go right back to the women who embroidered them—helping give them the financial backing to start their own businesses, become breadwinners in their families, and positively impact the Rwandan economy.

“Indego Africa employs women-only artisans, and in the spirit of DIY, that struck a chord for me,” Domesek told us about her involvement in the project. “It’s not only about the art, but also they’re empowering women to be their own entrepreneurs. All the profits go back to the education and training of these women; we’re giving them sustainable jobs and actually helping someone’s life.”

Domesek understands the importance of giving shoppers more and better options when it comes to where they put their money. “I’m a consumer too, and we all have to decide where to make our purchases,” she says. “Knowing where your items come from is so important, especially if it tells a story—that’s a beautiful thing!”

Head to Indego Africa to shop the patches now, and scroll down to see our favorite pieces plus five tips on how to wear patches this summer!

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    PHOTO: Courtesy of P.S. I Made This

    Domesek designed eight limited-edition patches for the project, all inspired by nature and the colorful animals found in the wild. "They’re all super fun and quirky," she says. "I think of them as a colorful mission for good."

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    PHOTO: Courtesy of P.S. I Made This

    We just love all the fun colors in these patches!

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    PHOTO: Courtesy of P.S. I Made This

    The patches can be ironed on to fabric, or easily attached to a gold chain to create a statement-making necklace. "The best thing about these is that it's project anybody can do, it doesn’t matter what skill level you’re at," Domesek says. "You can iron these on to an army or denim jacket, onto a chambray shirt, a backpack, or a pouch. You can pierce the patches and make them into a necklace. The possibilities are endless; you could put these on anything. The colors are really fun, great for a summer moment, or even heading back into fall, they totally work."

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    PHOTO: Courtesy of P.S. I Made This

    Scroll down for five tips to style patches this summer!

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    PHOTO: Getty Images

    1. Go all out.

    Recently spotted in a Mary Katrantzou Fall 2014 dress constructed entirely of patches, Diane Kruger makes a strong case that you can literally wear nothing but the iron-on accessories, and still look quite stylish.

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    PHOTO: Splash News

    2. Be sparing.

    Of course, there’s always the opposite end of the spectrum: wearing only one or two patches. Ashley Benson sported a military jacket illustrating just how it’s done!

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    PHOTO: ImaxTree

    3. Wear a punk rock-inspired denim jacket covered in them.

    Back in the days of 1970s New York, the punk kids used to cover their beat-up denim jackets in patches portraying the causes they held most near and dear to their hearts. Take a nod from them and iron on a few yourself!

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    4. Give a nod to your Girl Scout days.

    The iconic young ladies’ organization is renowned for the patches they dole out to their most successful scouts—but there’s no rule saying you can’t rock the look as a grownup.

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    5. Try them on your jeans.

    For an edgier, less traditional look, try wearing the patches on your jeans—they’ll be sure to catch some glances and start some interesting conversations. 

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