The global movement toward gender equality cannot be complete without addressing the bane of the fast fashion industry. The majority of the world's garment workers are women, and these women live in some of the poorest countries in the world. A lightning-speed turnover of trends and the desire for ever-cheaper clothing has allowed violence against women garment workers to become a widespread epidemic—a humanitarian disaster that can and must end now. The right to live free from violence is a fundamental human right and women across the world are speaking up and choosing to wear their values.
Our supply chain is built to be different, lifting women out of poverty, and empowering them to transcend their circumstances and achieve a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities through fair trade.
When you wear INDIGENOUS, you are choosing a better way: clothing that is healthier for you and healthier for the world, soft on the earth and kind to the people who make it. You can feel the difference in every piece. Here are a few of the ways your INDIGENOUS purchase makes an impact in the lives of economically marginalized women in Peru.
Fair Wages and Dependable Pay
We are committed to providing fair wages and on-time pay, giving women control of their finances. When women become the main bread-earners of their families, they achieve greater independence and power over their destinies.
Free Training & Materials
Each year we train 50 new women who have suffered from economic hardships and domestic violence. By becoming skilled artisans, women can achieve financial independence and support their children on their own, allowing them to leave abusive and dangerous relationships. Additionally, we train 100+ artisans with new skills so that they can earn more money and work year-round.
Zero Interest Loans
The women who work for us are entrepreneurs plain and simple. By partnering with organizations like Root Capital, we provide zero-interest loans for women to start and expand their home workshops and purchase new equipment.
"Through two zero-interest loans, I was able to buy a linking and gage-3 knitting machine. By creating finer, lighter knits, I can work year-round, and provide more work to my community." - Ana Cornejo, a single mother of two and an artisan group leader
Quality Subsidized Childcare
Being a working mom is hard anywhere in the world. But it's especially hard if don't have affordable childcare. That's why we invest in better resources for artisan mothers. Women can trust their children to safe, nurturing daycare environments (at very little cost) while they work.
Flexible Schedules & the Ability to Work From Home
Flexible schedules allow women to take care of their children and home life while still earning money. By working from home, highland women can remain with their families instead of traveling difficult distances for work. This flexibility leads to artisans training others in their community and expanding their workshops, employing and empowering their friends and neighbors.
Supporting Women Entrepreneurs & Innovators
The women who create our clothing are passionate about their work. From those beginning their workshops to those who are leading cooperative groups innovating textile design, each woman makes up who we are as a company. We invest part of every purchase into these women and their futures (because we believe in them).
Supporting Highland Schools
Through donations to local schools, we hope to provide a brighter future for the indigenous communities in which we work. Over the last 20+ years, these donations have come in many forms, from money to shoes, to books, to school supplies and even buildings.
On one visit to a remote highland school, we brought a new supply of shoes. Though many of the children traveled long distances to reach their schoolhouse, some had never owned a pair of shoes before, relying on traditional sandals to get them there. They thanked us with their beautifully elaborate clothing and a traditional dance.
Access to Clean Drinking Water
Access to clean water is a human right, yet it doesn't always come easily in the arid Peruvian Highlands, with people traveling great distances to reach and then transport potable water. Communities must have access to clean water to thrive. That's why, with our partners in Peru, we continuously bring fresh, potable water to over 250 women artisans and their families.
Thank you for wearing your values, and choosing ethical fashion that's kind to people and soft on the planet. Shop our fall 2018 fair trade fashion collection and discover the difference of artisan-made clothing. We hope you feel the love in every stitch!