Robin Wright and Karen Fowler's luxe sleepwear line, Pour Les Femmes, delivers new pieces in time for the holidays, with each sale benefiting women in conflict regions.
Much like her character on Netflix’s powerhouse political dramaHouse of Cards, Robin Wright is a fashionable and ferocious advocate for causes that grip her. Fueled by her own global activism and her decades-long wish to create “the perfect pajamas,” Wright, along with designer Karen Fowler, launched Pour Les Femmes, a “socially conscious sleepwear company,” last year as a way to raise funds for Congolese women who have become victims of sexual violence. With six new pieces debuting just in time for the holidays, the luxe pajamas are gifts that give back. Wright tells us how—and more importantly, why.
How did you get involved with the Congo? In 2008 I saw the documentary The Greatest Silence, which opened my eyes to the atrocities against women fueled by the conflict mineral trade. Electronics companies are purchasing these minerals, and [we] are consumers of the electronics. I linked up with the DC-based Enough Project, traveled to Congo, and have been an activist supporting development in Congo ever since.
You have been active in pushing for an end to the conflict surrounding the mineral trade. It’s our duty. We are using our smart phones and laptops to work, to connect with our families, and these devices are part of the demand for minerals in Congo. Our hands are in this. Instead of a boycott, we can leverage our consumer pressure to clean up this mess. The more consumers who speak out about it to tech companies and on social media, the sooner we achieve a peaceful mineral trade. We can dry up the revenue source for Congo’s armed groups responsible for the worst sexual violence on earth. And our approach is based on winning strategies from the blood diamonds struggle, which transformed the diamond industry in West Africa. I am the executive director for the upcoming documentary When Elephants Fight, which will introduce this conflict to new audiences and lead the push towards transparency through the #StandWithCongo campaign.
How does Pour Les Femmes help these women? A portion of the proceeds goes to two groups—Action Kivu and Synergies des Femmes—that I met when I was visiting the Congo. They now have a community center, and they’re starting to build a school. They’re able to give vocational training to more of the women, as well as psychological and physical help. It’s endless what they need post-trauma, but the methodology is to start by helping them with micro-financing so they can get back on their feet and have a sustainable life.
Luxurious sleepwear for a good cause. Tell us about the style of Pour Les Femmes. We wanted to build the perfect pajama based on things Karen and I both love. Soft, comfortable cotton fabrics with vintage-inspired details and classic silhouettes. The idea is to feel as if you’re wearing nothing to bed, though our fine cottons add an extra ounce of coziness while sleeping.