William Watts - menswear for men of substance
William Watts, founded in 2012, has a simple mission. We make striking menswear from meaningful materials sourced around the world. The materials we choose represent women who are oppressed or impoverished, and our sales directly benefit the women who hand make our products in the country where we source the materials. Your purchase directly helps the women who make the product you purchase. Our company is young. Our first product, The Kabul Tie, supports women Afghan refugees who make our ties, bow ties, and pocket squares. Check back soon for new products supporting women around the world.
The Kabul Tie: Empowering Afghan Women
William Watts sources the fabric and construction of its handmade ties from women in rural areas in eastern Afghanistan and in the refugee camps in border areas. These artisans dedicate time to embroidery in the spare hours left over after completing household chores and childcare. Before finding a source of income from embroidery and handicraft, these women led lives of chronic poverty and isolation. Almost none had learned to read and few had ever visited a doctor in their lives. Many of the women use the income to support their children’s education—in particular, taking them away from carpet work (one of the country’s largest industries) and sending them to school. Other women put the money toward prenatal care, often for the first time in their lives despite having had multiple pregnancies. Having an income enables Afghan women to achieve status as individuals in their families and communities and allowing them some control over their lives.
About the Fabric
The fabric selected for William Watts ties and pocket squares is traditionally used in burqas—the most concealing of all islamic veils—as the mesh screen covering the women’s eyes.