Annie Sloan has teamed up with Oxfam, the global poverty reduction charity, to create a new paint colour, which will be launched on 12 October, for the charity’s 75th anniversary. Annie Sloan says: “The colour I created was inspired by the soft green fields of alliums I saw on my visit to Oxfam’s Ethiopian Seed Project. To me, it’s the colour of hope.” The new colour - ‘Lem Lem’ - means the lush green of fresh growth in the language of the region. ‘Lem Lem’ joins the Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan range and will be sold in Annie Sloan’s stockists throughout the world and online from 12 October.
‘Lem Lem’ is inspired by fields of white alliums Annie Sloan discovered while visiting a rural project in the south-east of Ethiopia. The field belonged to a co-operative of women farmers, funded by Oxfam, who were realising their potential after being provided with loans to buy decent seeds and proper irrigation systems. The women grow the alliums for their seeds which they sell - the alliums represent money and freedom. One woman with four children under nine had made enough money to buy a house, cow, ox, a TV (its arrival promoted a party in the village), schooling, and - unprecedented for a woman in this part of Ethiopia - a bank account of her own.
Annie Sloan says: "What I love is when you look at the allium head from the region the overall impression is white, but then you realise there is green underneath, and green on the petals - a lovely muted green, it really is beautiful. I asked one of the women farmers, 'what does green mean to you?’ and she immediately said, 'Growth' and I thought that was fantastic. I feel that ‘Lem Lem’ is representative of my business - a celebration of the idea of female ambition, will and talent. I have visited an awful lot of smarty pants places all over the world, and stayed in very nice hotels, but those women in Ethiopia is what life is really about. People who are farming, doing things, dreams being fulfilled."
The collaboration with Oxfam is the first time Annie Sloan has worked with a charity on this scale. "I just thought it would be wonderful to help. I feel very connected to Oxfam. They are based in Oxford like us and approached me to ask if I would like to do something with paint and the idea flowed from there. I am delighted to support the charity, it was very humbling to see first-hand how people are suffering amid the worst drought in 30 years on my visit.”
A percentage from the sale of every litre pot sold in the UK will go to the charity to support Oxfam’s work and Annie Sloan hopes to raise £250,000 over three years. For further information visit www.anniesloan.com or telephone: 01865 803 168. See video and blog here: https://www.anniesloan.com/oxfam