OUR TEAM

Our team comes from around the world, bringing their expertise and passion for ethical manufacturing to EAA’s work. Prior to joining EAA our team worked with brands such as ASOS, GAP, George, M&S, and Levi’s.

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Keren Pybus

CEO and Co Founder

 

As Co-founder and CEO of Ethical Apparel Africa, Keren brings over 20 years of experience in sourcing, merchandising, and retail operations. Her passion for ethical manufacturing drove her to start the business with Paloma to develop a model that proves that living wages and worker empowerment are not mutually exclusive with cost-competitive product and profit.  Keren has worked all over the world including living in Bangladesh for 3 years, setting up and running the George sourcing office. She has worked with both large retailers such as Walmart UK/South Africa and with small scale artisan suppliers. She is based in London, speaking frequently at conferences and developing the EAA strategy and international networks.

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Paloma Schackert (née Pineda)

COO and Co Founder

 

Paloma’s drive to create tangible impact through business led her to found EAA with Keren in 2015. As a management consultant at Bain & Company, Paloma focused on process optimization, organizational restructuring, and growth strategy for multi-billion-dollar companies. Prior to Bain, her work in monitoring & evaluation for international NGOs in West Africa and India gave her a firm belief in the power of job creation for women. She is thrilled to contribute to building a sustainable industry in West Africa, unlocking its potential to become a world-class manufacturing hub. From her base in New York and West Africa Paloma oversees implementation of the EAA Operating Model while traveling frequently to develop partnerships.

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Pauline Watine

Social Impact and HR Director

Pauline has over 10 years experience in international development across West Africa, India and France including working with the ILO, Oxfam, Freedom from Hunger and myAgro. She is passionate about building the capacity of our partner factories and their workers to create sustainable jobs at scale. Pauline is based in France with frequent travel to West Africa where she develops, oversees and is accountable for EAA's social compliance, programs M&E, talent recruitment and development.

Carly Beischer

Sales Director

 

Carly joined EAA in 2016 moving to Ghana where she focussed on building collaborative relationships between factories and brands and driving sales. In previous roles she was responsible for sourcing from multiple regions for UK high street fashion brands. Carly also ran her own brand after university, starting at Portobello Market in London scaling to supply Topshop, ASOS and Urban Outfitters.  She brings this entrepreneurial spirit and drive to all areas of her work and is passionate about the fashion industry’s immense potential to empower its workforce and harness innovation. She is now based in the UK.

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Paul Allen

Technical Director

 

Paul joined EAA as its mission and model embodied his passion for transparency, honesty, integrity, and social responsibility. He is passionate about developing local talent to realise their potential. He brings with him over 40 years of experience in the industry, including 15 years’ managing manufacturing and sourcing operations for Levi’s. Paul has worked across more than 15 countries in diverse roles, from starting operations in a new manufacturing region to implementing new Lean systems to drive efficiency improvements.  Paul is based in Ghana where he manages the technical team and EAA’s factory partnerships.

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Dinuka Wickramanayake

Business Development Director

 

Dinuka brings 20 years of valuable experience in the industry, including over 10 years managing sourcing and product developments for L-Brands. Dinuka was part of Victoria’s Secret’s first ever overseas store opening team in London. He has worked across 6 countries in diverse roles, from product development and sourcing to retail. Dinuka is passionate about business development and supply chain platform creation. He is based in Ghana where he manages the accounts team and leads business development.

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Jesse Blankson

Finance and Operations Director

 

Jesse brings on board over 17 years of  extensive experience in Financial Management. He has specialised in Accounting, Auditing, SOX, Operations, Business turnarounds and Cost Reduction in the Banking, Petroleum, Manufacturing, Construction, and IT sectors within Africa and Europe. He is extremely strong at improving bottom line results and growing businesses through strategic, tactical and financial/reporting expertise. Jesse is based in Ghana and oversees Finance, Admin and Operations of EAA.

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Mary Ombongi

Quality Manager

 

Mary brings to EAA 15 years’ experience quality assurance, process analysis and reliability from her work at leading factories in Kenya. Mary is responsible for the quality control at our partner factories. She is truly passionate about building workers skills , especially empowering young women who can grow within the industry. Mary is excited to contribute to EAA's vision for Africa.

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Florence Yarney

Operations and Finance Manager

Florence has over 13 years of varied experience in Operation management, Accounting, Procurement and Administration across corporate and International development organizations including GIZ. She loves the genuine spirit of cooperation and shared goals at EAA, which contribute to always satisfying our partners. Florence's knowledge and experience enables us to provide our clients with strong logistics support. She manages finances and accounting, and handles local procurement.

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Shabber Golam

Raw Materials Sourcing Manager

Shabber brings more than 10 years of experience in fashion forecasting, product development, production and retail merchandising for an end to end supply chain management. Shabber is a passionate professional who particlarly likes working in challenging and fast paced environments.  Shabber is based in Ghana and is supporting all EAA teams in raw materials sourcing and logistics

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Ramesh Padman Kamutam

Industrial Engineering and Production Manager

Ramesh comes from India, and has over 18 years of experience working in India and Kenya in Industrial Engineering and Production Operations.

He is dedicated to support the Partner Factories in Product Development, Planning and Execution in Ghana.

Ramesh is passionate by training, enhancing and sustaining local employees' talent to meet customers' standards.

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Farida Olass 

Social Compliance and Impact Manager

 

Farida Olass started her career in cognitive skills training and has now worked in apparel for 6 years, gaining experience and knowledge in merchandising, administration, marketing and compliance. She has a BSc in Business administration in management and is currently driving compliance at EAA and partner factories as the social compliance and impact manager working to go beyond compliance. Farida is driven to continuously challenge herself and learn new expertise.

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Daniella Marilyn Osei

Merchandiser

Daniella is a people-focused person who joyfully brings her experience in Finance and IT to EAA. Daniella is creative and results oriented and likes shaping tools and processes to make them more efficient. In her spare time, she enjoys making her own clothes. Daniella is based in Ghana where she works on critical path management, sample development, inventory and logistics. She is eager to support EAA to achieve their mission and vision.

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Sharnil Perera

Assistant Merchandising Manager

Sharnil has over 17 years of experience in the industry in managing product development, sourcing and supply chains for leading brands like LS&CO (Levi’s) and Decathlon as well as for pioneer manufacturing companies in Sri Lanka. Sharnil is a passionate professional who likes to work in challenging, fast paced environments. Sharnil is based in Ghana and contributes to EAA's mission as the link between our brand and factory partners focusing on sourcing & merchandising.

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Prashanth Kumar

Assistant Merchandising Manager  

Prashanth has worked in Manufacturing in India, Jordan and Kenya and has worked with brands such as Gap and Old Navy. He is client focused and a dedicated and creative problem solver always striving for excellence. His focus is in sourcing and supply chain management, building strong relationships with brands and factories.  He likes working at EAA because of  our ethical way of working and focus on job creation.

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Joseph Manu

Logistics Senior Associate

Joseph is a Certified International Supply Chain Professional and Manager from IPSCMI, USA.

He worked at DHL Global Forwarding, Huawei technologies and MTN Ghana, where he was responsible for managing all imports and exports. Joseph brings almost 10 years of experience in logistics and Supply Chain and drives cost saving and operational compliance.  He is a vivacious and affable person and loves the multicultural staff base of EAA.

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Manohar Mani 

Product Development  Manager

Over the last 18 years  Manohar has worked across many product areas including lingerie, denim, activewear and tailoring, he brings a wealth of knowledge to the EAA team.  His skill set stretches from pattern drafting right through to production support and he has developed products for brands such as  Levis, Zara and M&S. Manohar really appreciates EAA’s commitment to training and developing local experts and the company's energetic atmosphere.

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Charles Lewis Oppong

Trainee Merchandiser

 

Charles is an agile and well organized young professional with in depth knowledge and experience in modern administrative procedures, sales, economics and accounting. As a Trainee Merchandiser, Charles  supports both foreign and local sourcing whilst focusing on building  strong relationships with our supply chain partners. Charles is passionate about helping to build a stronger apparel industry in West Africa and creating jobs in the region.

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El-Freda Lartey

Trainee Merchandiser

 

Elfreda has a degree in Business Administration and Strategic Management and has diverse experience working in finance, consultancy, advertising and sales. She joined the EAA merchandising department in 2021 and works on critical path management, sample development and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System.

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Marvin Osei Tutu

Logistics Associate

Marvin is a  goal oriented person who has experience in administration, management and operations.

He is currently working as the logistics associate at EAA and he is driven through his determination to provide an excellent service. 

Marvin has a passion for business development and the growth of the apparel industry in Africa.

Rose Amponsah

Technical Associate

Rose comes from Ghana and started her career in the environmental sector before shifting to fashion design and technology. She has been working in the fashion industry for the last 4+ years as a Marketing Administrative Facilitator and Quality Executive. Rose is a COTVET and CBT certified facilitator and has trained students on sewing and patterns. Her passion for women's development and empowerment led her to EAA. She supports sample development, quality inspections and training in partner factories.

Olivia Blay 

Technical Trainee

Olivia previously worked in accounting and insurance before deciding to follow her dreams and shifting her career to apparel. She has a passion for designing garments and loves EAA’s role in showcasing the African apparel industry potential to the world. She is supporting the technical team on sample development, quality inspections and enabling training programmes at EAA partner factories

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Justin Hendrix

Strategy & Partnerships Consultant

 

Justin is a Bain & Company management consultant and current MBA candidate at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He is passionate about the intersection between business and social impact and was inspired by EAA's vision. Justin works with EAA part-time to engage in and drive projects related to public-private partnership, technical capacity building, due diligence and cotton supply chain integration.

 

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ADVISORY BOARD

 

The below individuals have been instrumental advisers to EAA on our journey so far. 

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John Connors

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John plays a key role advising EAA on growth strategy, leveraging his experience in investment, finance, and business operations.

 

John is a managing partner at Ignition, which he joined in 2005 following a distinguished career as a software-industry executive. John spent sixteen years at Microsoft in several high-level, strategic roles including serving as the company’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer. John is currently a member of several boards of directors including Nike, Splunk, and FIREapps. John was named to the 2013 Forbes Midas List, a ranking of the world’s top venture capital investors, and to Business Insider’s 2013 list of top enterprise technology VCs.

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Reggie Brown

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Reggie serves as a Financial Advisor to growing companies, supporting businesses to operate profitably and prepare for possible acquisition. His corporate expertise includes SEC reporting, financial planning, business development and M&A.

 

Reggie previously served as Microsoft's first senior finance executive of their emerging digital media group, building the analytical backbone for ventures such as Expendia and MSNBC. He has held diverse roles in high growth organizations including as CEO and CFO of two successful digital media startups. Reggie was recently named to the Board of Beneficial Saving Bank, a $1 billion community bank in Oakland, CA. In keeping with his passion for supporting education, he also serves as Vice Chair of the Ashesi University Foundation in Ghana and as Board Chair of Rainier Scholars in Seattle.

Anna Ellis

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Anna advises EAA on brand partnerships and strategy, leveraging her long career in the industry and her passion for growing industry in her home country Ghana.

Anna’s 20+ years of experience in the clothing industry has spanned retail, wholesale, supply and manufacture.  Beginning her career in merchandising at Debenhams, she later focused on the supplier side, managing accounts of major high street retailers before moving to New York and overseeing multi-million dollar production for international brands including Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and the Gap.

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Alan Kirk

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Alan brings to EAA deep expertise in global sourcing strategy development and execution.

 

Alan Kirk is a veteran of the Apparel and Footwear Industry. Originally from Scotland, Alan has spent the past three decades working in Product Development and Global Sourcing for large UK and US companies. Alan knows how to build brands, develop quality product and source all kinds of product for the best value worldwide. Alan is currently CEO of a US-based Global Sourcing and Product Development Company based in Seattle WA. Prior to this he has worked for Mast Industries (sourcing division of The Limited Inc), Lands’ End, Eddie Bauer, Filson and The Billabong Group.

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Jan Forest

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Jan provides invaluable guidance to EAA in the realm of customs and international trade law.

 

Jan has over 35 years of experience as a customs lawyer, working for the US government, in private practice, and as a consultant in developing countries. She has worked all over the world on issues such as trade capacity building, WTO compliance, trade policy reform, and customs reform. She specialises in areas such as rules of origin, customs valuation, classification, sanctions, textile quotas, and trade legislation. Most recently Jan has focused on working with companies in Africa to determine eligibility for duty-free treatment under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

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Doroteya Vladimirova

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Doroteya brings to EAA expertise in cutting-edge research on business model innovation and circular economy.  

 

Doroteya is a sustainability innovation theorist at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), University of Cambridge; business sustainability advisor and academic entrepreneur. She leads research on value creation and new business models for a sustainable future. Her work bridges the gap between research and practice, and compresses a decade of analysis and study into profound, usable tools. Doroteya mentors social entrepreneurs and advises leading global businesses on their transition towards impact business models.

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Auret Van Heerden

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Auret founded the Swiss consulting company Equiception in 2014. It provides consulting and training services on all aspects of sustainable value chains, including investment zones, human resource development & management, labor relations, and social plus environmental sustainability. He has public and private sector clients in many industries including apparel and footwear.  He also teaches on a number of Exec Ed programs.
Before that Auret was the President and CEO of the Fair Labor Association in Washington DC from June 2001 to December 2013. From 1996 to 2001 he was responsible for the Special Action Programme on Social and Labor Issues in EPZs at the  ILO in Geneva.

His 40 years of experience in value chains in different sectors and countries equips him to advise public and private sector clients plus
engage with stakeholders to build partnerships and alliances.

Richard Woo

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Richard Woo has 30 years of philanthropy experience at The Russell Family Foundation, the Levi Strauss Foundation, and Levi Strauss & Co. where he played major roles in breakthrough social change initiatives addressing anti-racism, HIV/AIDS, global social justice, environmental sustainability, and impact investing. 

 

At Levi Strauss & Co. in the 1990s, he launched the company's global sourcing guidelines in Asia Pacific.  Upon retirement "Inside Philanthropy" recognized Richard in its 2019 Philanthropy Awards naming him the "Foundation President We'll Miss the Most" for having "been a trailblazer in such areas as equity and impact investing."  He serves on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation board and the Impact Advisory Council of Tiedemann Advisors. 

JOIN OUR TEAM

 

For career-related queries, please see our careers page for job details or contact talent@ethicalapparelafrica.com

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