To inspire and be inspired for better living.
With wool sourced directly from the nearby mountains and whimsical design from Brooklyn, New York, women artisans in Kyrgyzstan are crafting gifts and decorations with their traditional technique of wet felting. This generations-old technique creates a textile that is strong and incredibly soft to the touch, making it a beautiful medium to connect the heritage of Kyrgyz nomadic culture with our modern urban lifestyle.
Consisting of pillows, rugs, and baskets, Ximena's home collection is entirely handcrafted at artisan cooperatives throughout Colombia, using only natural materials native each region - wool, fique, and palm leaves. "This collection is about empowerment," says Ximena. "I strive to empower artisans in my homeland, and these designs are the way to bring their skill set, my vision, and creativity to life."
Among the thousands of artisans we work with - both directly and indirectly - around the world, over 70% are women. And the majority of these artisan women are mothers. By making and selling their handicrafts, they have become proud providers for their families, creating a stable stream of income and much needed opportunities for their children to receive education and healthcare.
At Anchal Project, one believes design can change lives. Their contemporary geometric designs are defined by sophisticated patchwork and aggregated stitch patterns, revolutionizing traditional Kantha quilting techniques in India. Their work explores the synthesis of vernacular imagery, heritage artwork and a maker’s journey to empowerment.
Founded by former diplomat Amal Oudrhiri, AYOU works with artisan women in the mountains near Azilal, Morocco to create the world renowned signature product of this country: wool rugs. Each weaver receives a stable wage from AYOU, and works on her own pace to create her dream rug.
"In fact, that's how the real traditional Moroccan rugs are made - each rug is designed as the artisan - usually a woman - starts to weave on the loom."
In the Guatemalan highlands of Momostenango, Totonicapán, cold weather and high altitude favor the quality of wool. A strong wool weaving tradition has been present for generations. First men, and now women are weaving carpets and blankets with locally sourced wool on their wooden foot looms.
The sustainable production cycle of tagua nuts contributes to rainforest conservation in South America, while alleviating the threat to elephants in Africa from the ivory trade.
In the small village of Cantel, Guatemala, a group of 17 glass artisans joined together in 1976 and opened COPAVIC, the Recycled Glass Cooperative of Cantel. Their vision was clear and simple: Build a sustainable business for both the environment and the people.