Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Support The People Who Make Your Stuff! Join the Hoop!

We're excited to support a new website called the Hoop, which allows people like you to give loans to the people out there who are making great fair trade products. Choose a product right off their list. There is 0% interest, and you get all of your money back. Everyone wins.

Click here to browse a current list of hoop projects.

Help cotton farmers go organic!

Help purchase a new hand knitting machine for an Indigenous producer!

Visit the Hoop for more details.

Monday, March 28, 2011

TEDxPresidio - Come hear the opening talk on Slow Money

TEDxPresidio - Come hear the opening talk on Slow Money
April 2, 2011 - Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

Click here for tickets.

The Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
3301 Lyon Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
Click here for a map.

Ari DerfelAri Derfel
Executive Director
Slow Money

Ari is an award winning entrepreneur, organic chef, activist, mountain guide & public speaker. His academic career includes the University of Wisconsin, Harvard, Georgetown, UCLA, and Cambridge.

Currently, Ari is the Executive Director of Slow Money, a national organization quickly gaining prominence at the intersection of the sustainable food, socially responsible investing, localization, and social enterprise movements. Their mission is to catalyze investment in local food systems as a means to build strong, secure, robust local economies. Their current goal is to get 1 million Americans to invest 1% of their assets in local food systems by 2020. Slow Money is has been named one of the biggest ideas of 2010 by Business Week and one of the top five trends in Finance by Entrepreneur Magazine.

More about TEDxPresidio

More about Slow Money.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Indigenous & Root Capital Journey to Peru Highlights Partnership

Earlier this month Indigenous CEO Scott Leonard and Director of Operations James Roberts traveled with members of the Root Capital team to visit an Indigenous artisan workshop in the neighborhood of Canto Grande in the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Canto Grande is part of the San Juan de Lurigancho district located in the area known as Cono Este. With a current population that may have exceeded one million people, it is the country's most populous district and possibly one of the largest urban neighborhoods in the world.

It was here that Scott, James and the Root Capital team visited with Juan Vargas, who owns and operates one of the many independent knitting workshops in the Indigenous supply chain. Juan’s humble workshop employ’s artisan knitters from his neighborhood. Currently his operation consists of just a few hand operated knitting machines, but it has grown and continues to grow and become more sophisticated. It is with the help of fair trade financing organizations like Root Capital that Juan plans to improve his workshop and to upgrade his knitting equipment so that he can work with finer knitting gauges and expand the number of products he can offer.

Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that is pioneering finance for grassroots businesses in rural areas of developing countries. They provide capital, financial education, and market connections to small and growing businesses that build sustainable livelihoods and transform rural communities in poor, environmentally vulnerable places. Over the past 5 years Indigenous and Root Capital have come together bring financing to artisans at the BOP (Base of Pyramid). This visit highlighted one of the many ways that the partnership between Root Capital and Indigenous has brought socially responsible financing to the handicraft market in Latin America enabling thousands of artisans to become part of the global economy in a way that is fair, environmentally sustainable and scalable.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Berta's Passion for Stitch Design

Making a difference, one stitch at a time … This season we are highlighting our artisans’ design & development process and acknowledging a very special contributor to our team— Berta Espinosa Escobar. Berta’s passion for the art of knit design and scaling it to market travels back many years. She graduated with a degree of Interior Design from the Arts Institute in Peru. As her life progressed, she married and became a mother of two wonderful children. Although being a mother and wife was rewarding, Berta’s passion for design and her entrepreneurial spirit never faded. When she was a young mother, her sister introduced her to hand looming. She was so excited about this new art form that she immediately began knitting sweaters and eagerly collecting all sorts of knitting books relating to stitch design. Within a few months, her sister introduced her to a friend who had a local fashion boutique in Lima. Together, the two created sweaters to sell at the boutique. Orders began to grow and a few years later Berta met Patricia Roose, the founder of an artisan-based social enterprise that now works
with Indigenous. Patricia was so impressed by Berta’s talent and passion for design
that she asked her to be a part of her brilliant knitting team. Berta accepted, and she has now been working alongside Patricia for the past 25 years. Berta has a unique story and is proud to be a part of the greater Indigenous family. She understands the importance of fair trade and knows that whatever she designs or develops with Indigenous, it will help to bring much needed opportunity to the Peruvian people who are involved with all aspects of the process—from the organic cotton and alpaca farmers to the yarn spinners, and of course, to the talented artisan knitters. Berta is one of many of our gifted women entrepreneurs within the Indigenous fair trade supply chain.
Together, our passions bring positive change to everyone involved in the Indigenous fair trade organic supply chain. As Berta says “one stitch at a time, we can make
a difference”.