25 Brands That Actually Help Struggling Latin American Artisans
The way you shop can make a difference.
1. A college student teamed up with a skilled artisan to create a modern sneaker using traditional Peruvian textiles for PATOS.
They partnered up in order to sell his shoes in the United Stated and showcase Latin America's beautiful textiles. PATOS just launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to hire 15+ full-time artisans in Peru. You can back their project here.
Price range: $65-$95
2. Vayu works with artisans to preserve the Mexican tradition of weaving rebozos.
Additionally, Vayu collaborates with a foundation that offers sewing classes to women in different prisons, which allows them to earn money and prepare for their future after jail. With its quality handmade Mexican products, Vayu hopes people will start appreciating Mexican culture, craft and design.
Price range: $80-$120
Products: Bags and wallets.
Website: The Little Market
4. Rose Ann Hall Designs employs artisans — many with disabilities — to produce beautiful candles and carved glassware with traditional Mexican art.
5. Wakami is a lifestyle brand that strives to create income-generating opportunities for the artisans creating their beautiful pieces.
Their goal is to partner with artisans in rural villages of Guatemala so they can create a better future for their families. Wakami helps them start their own business and become a production partners with the brand. They also have access to mentoring, education, and training when starting and managing their business.
Price range: $5-$56
Products: Bracelets, cuffs and necklaces.
6. Hiptipico honors the Mayan culture, motivates local entrepreneurial spirits and empowers families and communities.
7. Naguska seeks to create job opportunities for artisans and knitters in the rural areas of Peru.
They provide workshops for training and technical support so artisans can increase the quality of their products and consequentially, their life.The materials and techniques used by these artisans have been passed on from generation to generation.
Price range: $26
8. Maya Traditions has been connecting indigenous artisans to national and international markets for the past two decades.
They work to preserve and showcase the culture and traditions these skilled artisans with each product, as well as providing them with fair wages to help them achieve a better lifestyle. Today, they partner with eight self-governed cooperatives in six rural villages and over 100 skilled female artisans.
Price range: $16-$240
Products: Bags and luggage.
Website: Maya Traditions
10. Manuela Ramos works to improve artisan jobs for women in Peru's rural areas and to promote the value of their work.
They also campaign for women’s sexual, reproductive, political, social, and economic rights. The organization gives Peruvian women an opportunity to leave the domestic sphere and “build a relationship with the world,” so that they can realize their full potential and exercise their rights as women.
Price range: $26
Website: Manuela Ramos
11. The Root Collective partners with artisans in several countries around the world to produce shoes, apparel and accessories in order to create a culture of kindness through purchases.
12. Macvilho is an artisan group of women from the Mexican state of Chiapas. They weave textiles by hand, using traditional Mayan techniques.
The women raise their own sheep and harvest the wool to make clothing, textiles, and decorative accents.
Price range: $6- $88
Products: Pom poms, tassels, and home décor.
13. Luchometik was founded by six women artisans who wanted to improve their lives. They work to learn about product quality, color and design, and sales.
Since it started, more women have joined with the intention of learning and making a better living.
Price range: $88
Products: Woven pillows.
14. Most of the female artisans are illiterate, making their chances of having a decent income almost impossible. Mayan Hands partners with approximately 200 female weavers across Guatemala, enabling a positive fair trade experience.
Each product purchased allows these talented weavers to earn an income and send their children to school by preserving their cultural traditions.
Price range: $6- $80
Products: Bags, accessories, and home décor.
Website: Mayan Hands
15. Asociación de Artesanos Andinos aims to provide better quality of life for its artisans by promoting and selling products made with tradition and cultural identity.
The gorgeous and unique textiles are made with natural dyes by women from one of the most impoverished areas of Cochabamba.
Price range: $100
Website: Asociación de Artesanos Andinos
16. Artesania Sorata helps low-income families in Bolivia by providing them with jobs.
All products are made entirely by hand and generate an income that enables the artisans to provide a higher standard of living for the artisans and their families. They also support adult literacy and health programs as well as creativity workshops for children.
Price range: $24-$80
Products: Beanies, mittens, and baby clothes.
Website: Artesania Sorata
17. Nisolo works with talented shoemakers in Peru, facilitating market access, implementing fair trade wages, offering training and providing safe working conditions.
18. Altiplano provides employment opportunities to cooperative groups, small family businesses and to women in their own fair trade workshop in Guatemala.
19. Pachacuti applies social, economic and environmental responsibility throughout the entire supply chain.
Fair Trade entails a supportive relationship between Pachacuti and their producer groups, working to improve their skills and capacity, teaching good environmental and business management, as well as ensuring good working conditions and a fair wage. Pachacuti also provides their workers with dye courses, new weaving techniques, a fascinator workshop and other activities to help expand their knowledge.
Price range: $47-$107
20. Fortress of Inca believes that the people who make their shoes are just as important as the people who buy them.
They work with several workshops and factories in Peru, and personally audit each one. It is important to them that the artisans they employ work in excellent conditions and enjoy benefits like health care, paid maternity leave and social security.
Price range: $25-$350
Website: Fortress of Inca
21. Bluma Project Brooklyn-based accessory line is inspired by global culture and is produced by artisans in Peru, India, Guatemala and other developing nations.
22. Cuddle + Kind dolls are handcrafted by incredible women artisans in Peru, providing them with a sustainable, fair trade income.
23. Osborn works with artisan weaving cooperatives to create original textiles for their shoes. They seek to produce work within a global community of fair trade creative networks.
24. Bordadoras Unidas Arcoiris artisans embroider the way their grandmothers taught them. They strive to keep the Tenango embroidery alive.
With colorful string, the women draw the traditions of the Hidalgo people, illustrating everyday life, including their native plants and animals, as well as their crop cultivation.
Price range: $96
Products: Home décor.
Website: Bordadoras Unidas