Our design trip is in partnership with Deux Mains – an employee-owned ethical fashion company working to end poverty in Haiti. Volunteers will work to create new designs for the Deux Mains brand out of sustainable, local materials. We’ll also visit local markets and artisan workshops along the way, including brands such as Haiti Design Co-op and Papillon Enterprise. Although no professional experience is required, a background in fashion, merchandising or marketing is a plus.
Day 1, Sunday
Arrive in Port-au-Prince, where you’ll be greeted by our eager EIM guides. After getting settled into our guesthouse for the week – Haiti Communitere (HC) – enjoy a Kreyol lesson and get to know each other over a group dinner.
Day 2, Monday
After breakfast we’ll head straight to Deux Mains to meet the staff, get a tour of the workshop and boutique, and learn more about their design and sales needs. In the afternoon, we’ll split into two teams and get to work brainstorming and sketching initial ideas. We’ll return to HC for dinner and a low-key evening in.
Day 3, Tuesday
For inspiration, we’ll spend the morning visiting various markets and artisan workshops to see what products already exist in Haiti and hear various perspectives on designing and sourcing materials here. After another afternoon of brainstorming, you’ll have your first check-in with the Deux Mains staff and artisans to see if you’re on the right track. After work, let your brain take a break over an evening swim and cocktails.
Day 4, Wednesday
After breakfast, you’ll have the option of visiting another artisan workshop before heading back to Deux Mains to make revisions and begin finalizing your designs. In the late afternoon we’ll head to a favorite neighborhood rooftop bar for drinks and dancing before returning to HC for dinner.
Day 5, Thursday
After a final morning brainstorm and lunch on site, the teams will present their final designs to the Deux Mains staff. Decisions will be made and each of the teams will start working with the artisans to execute their patterns. After dinner, we’ll hit the town for a night of dancing, rum punch and live music.
Day 6, Friday
After a more relaxed morning, we’ll check back in with the artisans and make adjustments where needed. In the afternoon we’ll meet with Deux Mains staff to brainstorm sales and next steps. Later we’ll enjoy a low-key dinner out at the best pizza place in Port-au-Prince.
Day 7, Saturday
Get out of the shop and enjoy a day at the beach! This is the Caribbean after all. After all that relaxing we’ll celebrate your hard work with a final dinner with the Deux Mains crew.
Day 8, Sunday
Bid farewell to your new friends and head to the airport filled with unforgettable memories and experiences.
For more details about this trip including a packing list, check out our Details page.
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Don’t forget: Beyond creating employment, the proceeds from this trip will be donated back to English in Mind Institute – one of the only non-profit adult English schools in Port-au-Prince – allowing this important education to remain affordable. You’ll also be supporting Deux Mains and their mission to end poverty through meaningful employment.