By Sangeeta Waldron — Will Adoasi, the entrepreneur behind the philanthropic watch brand Vitae London, is set to launch his Season IV, a unisex range of watches that is backed by Sir Richard Branson. Sitting at the helm of a social business, Adosai seeks to combine fashion with social justice, where the sale of each watch provides a child in Southern Africa with two sets of school uniform, a bag and footwear to see them through a year of education. The idea for Adoasi’s brand came after he and his wife visited South Africa in 2010. Adosai is a Virgin StartUp ambassador and Branson is a big fan of Vitae London. Branson says, “What Vitae London are doing is great, very simple but effective."
Vitae London has developed a large social media following, which includes celebrity supporters such as Emeli Sande, Phillip Schofield, Paloma Faith and Tinchy Stryder, who are all sporting Adoasi’s timepieces. By offering his new watch range exclusively through Indiegogo, along with rewards such as limited edition gift sets with the chance to see the result of Vitae London’s charitable work in Southern Africa, Adoasi hopes to raise enough funds to grow in the retail market. So far, the sales of Vitae London watches in 26 countries have funded more than 1,100 school uniforms for children in Southern Africa.
Adoasi’s latest drive is to use his company’s large social media following to let the world know about the unequal access to education in Sub-Saharan Africa and invite solutions. The son of two Ghanaian parents, this social entrepreneur’s success is measured by impact in his home continent. Education, says Adoasi, was the key to breaking a perpetual cycle of poverty in his family and says, “My passion is to create opportunities for other young people across Africa to break that cycle of poverty. I truly believe education is the key to do that. I want to help people who look just like me, but are unable to reach their full potential due to a lack of access to education and resources.”
Education is linked to all development goals, such as supporting gender empowerment, improving child and maternal health, reducing hunger, fighting the spread of diseases and poverty, encouraging economic growth and creating peace. It is believed that by educating a child, you are developing a nation. In many African countries, education even at the primary school level is not free, which explains why many children are withdrawn from school.
Adoasi became interested in old-school ‘60s watches in his youth, and while he loved brands such as Patek Philippe, he couldn’t afford their watches. This lead him to design his own range, which he believes are of the same high-quality aesthetic, but without the huge price-tag. Each Season marks a new era for the brand. When purchasing a watch from Vitae London, you are directly helping to transform children’s lives in Africa.
Photo Credit: Vitae London