Pay it Forward Friday features The Andean Collection , a creative, fashion forward accessories company with a mission of sustainable sourcing and reducing poverty in the rural communities of Ecuador.
The Andean Collection was founded in 2008 to bring sustainable change to impoverished communities in South America. CEO Amanda Judge found the perfect business model while working on her Masters’ thesis in South America. Analyzing economic opportunity for households in the rural communities inspired her to combine Ecuador’s rich history of jewelry making using natural products found in the rain forest, with the international demand for well made, handcrafted accessories from artisans. The key to making the venture successful and having an impact on poverty in the area, she realized was giving them access to the global market and getting the product in front of the buyers. Since 2008, Andean Collection has continued to grow and flourish. Andean Collection currently works with over 60 artisan partners across 8 fair trade workshops in Ecuador, with headquarters in Quito and New York City.
Andean Collection’s New York based design team taps into the artistic potential of the natural materials and the craftsmanship of the artisans to continuously develop bold, handcrafted, on-trend jewelry. This focus on design has grounded Andean Collection as an esteemed brand in both the mainstream and sustainable fashion industries. Andean Collection accessories can now be found in over 2,000 boutiques and major retail stores around the world, and growing.
The Andean Collection and their non-profit arm, The Andean Project are committed to sustainable sourcing, providing scholarships and training for the artisans creating product and working to eliminate poverty in the impoverished communities of the region. Their web site has a great section where you can tour the workshops of the artisans and learn how much the programs have improved their lives. Artisans Nancy and Carlos have been with the project since the beginning. To see the area where they live, the rainbow of beads they work with and realize that their children are going to school because of scholarships from this experience is powerful. Know your food is a common thread that winds its way thru Green With Renvy. I’d like to ask you to try and extend that concept to know where all products come from, and the journey they take to get to you. Start with your holiday gift giving. The Andean Collection is a transparent company with a mission to help you along the way!