High in the Andes, indigenous women have knit hats, sweaters, and scarves such as these — made with soft fleece from organically raised alpaca — for centuries. Talented but impoverished, the women never had the resources to build viable businesses. That is, until Indigenous Designs founders Scott Leonard and Matt Reynolds visited the region in 1993 and realized that if provided with stylish patterns and high-quality fibers, the women could create clothing the U.S. market would gobble up, earning ample wages in the process. Fifteen years on, they've helped make fair trade one of the hippest trends in fashion. Now affiliated with 275 independent co-ops throughout Ecuador and Peru (including the original artisans), Indigenous Designs also works with local nonprofits to build economic opportunities and provide skill-based education for men and women. Due to the challenge of regulating each step of the production process, textiles, jewelry, and handicrafts are not yet certified by TransFair USA. Fair Trade Federation members like the ones included here guarantee that suppliers meet basic fair-trade requirements.
Country of origin ≫ Peru
$60 scarf and $36 mittens, indigenousdesigns.com