What is our mission?
William Watts, founded in 2012, has a simple mission. We make striking menswear from meaningful materials sourced around the world. We sell our ties worldwide and give back a significant share of the proceeds to the exact group of women who make the ties. Our promise is that your purchase will help a woman lead a better life.
In the countries where our ties are made, women have little or no opportunity to have a job, make money, or lead an independent existence. William Watts creates an opportunity for a group of women by having them make our ties in their spare time. One of the most rewarding moments of my life so far has been hearing what a difference our orders have made in the lives of the Afghan women that make our Kabul tie.
Our company is young; we sell one tie--our Kabul tie. But we hope this is just the beginning of empowering women worldwide.
So why ties?
A few years ago, I was at a conference where people were presenting business ideas which would help the world. There were some great ideas. One of my favorites was Well-O (http://wellowater.org/), a water wheel which gave families free time by letting them make fewer trips to the well for water. Check it out. Support them. I have seen their product in action, and is amazingly simple and helpful.
As I sat in the audience, I heard about how the real problem in many developing nations was the lack of work options available, particularly to women. I also looked around and almost everyone in the audience was wearing really nice ties. If we could source men's ties from women seeking employment in poor countries, we could provide these women a wage they couldn't dream of in their country, and we could make a cool tie that people would be proud to wear.
Our first tie is made from Burqa. The Burqa has historically been used as both a symbol of modesty and a tool of oppression. It is both a beautiful and controversial fabric that is strongly tied to women's struggles.
A tie says a lot about its wearer. I hope that a William Watts tie will become a symbol of support for women around the world. So buy a tie, wear the tie, and tell people that your tie supports a woman in Afghanistan--and tell them to buy one too.
-Jonathan, co-Founder of William Watts