Learn more about the Andean Project
social impact & transparency
POVERTY CAN BE ERADICATED.
Andean Collection is a leading social enterprise dedicated to transparency. The initial artisans we partnered with have made monumental improvements in both their business and personal lives since we started working with them in late 2008. We have seen that poverty can be eradicated through a holistic approach that nurtures the development of productive skills, promotes family health and education, and increases income levels. As we partner with new artisans, we work to ensure that they are on the same path to prosperity.
Learn how your purchase inspires significant social change in these communities.
social impact & studies
Andean Collection’s objective is to create positive change in impoverished communities. We believe that fair employment is the most sustainable way for people in these communities to emerge from poverty. Our primary aim is to provide artisans with a steady source of income, so they can shift focus from immediate needs, such as where their next meal will come from, and begin to plan for the future. When a family knows how much they will earn in a year, they can make productive investments with confidence.
While Andean Collection cannot determine exactly how much the artisans will produce in a year, we provide each workshop with an estimated minimum order schedule so the artisans can accurately estimate their yearly income. We also set regular production schedules to stabilize their workflow as much as possible. This leads to consistent and steady income so the artisans can financially plan for their future. As Andean Collection grows, we design with the artisans’ skills in mind. We think of how we can train our current artisans and give them full time work before looking for new people with whom we can work.
Steady and lucrative employment is the first step to emerging from poverty. However, deep-rooted poverty has detrimental effects that an increase in income alone will not ameliorate. The complexities of generational poverty require a multifaceted approach that goes beyond raising income levels, and extends to creating positive social behavioral patterns, which can be passed down to the next generation.
Since Andean Collection’s founding, we have carried out annual artisan well-being surveys to assess the social impact that Andean Collection has in the communities in which it works.
Below you can find the summary of these survey results.
PDF OF SUMMARY COMING SOON.
Learn about Andean Collection’s training, scholarship, no-interest loans, mentorship and disaster relief programs.return to top
Andean Collection has developed a holistic training program to ensure the artisans are on a well-footed path to prosperity. We provide customized business trainings that teach the artisans the skills necessary to operate as contributing members of the economy. We also provide non-business trainings to foster productive social development, so that these changes are passed along to their children and neighbors.
2012 training program includes:
Our holistic training program is a crucial step toward turning the increase in income from Andean Collection, into a long-term improvement in the quality of life for the artisans and future generations.
To learn more about how Andean Collection can be a resource for your organization, visit our training resources.return to top
Andean Collection has a scholarship program that is available to Andean Collection artisans, their families and select members of the extended community. These scholarships include academic scholarships to high school, university, as well as vocational training programs. Vocational training programs are key in bringing more economic diversity to the communities and encourage the development of the artistic crafts along with other skill sets.
In order for a community to develop sustainably, a wide variety of economic activities should be supported and promoted. While Andean Collection’s most immediate contribution is supporting specific artisan workshops, our deeper aim is to help the artisans develop into contributing members of society. We are thrilled to help them find their path, whether they choose to remain artisans or pursue another career.
how to sponsor a scholarship:
Andean Project, the Andean Collection’s non-profit arm, accepts donations if you would like to provide a scholarship for a student. Approximately $300 per year can defer most of the costs of secondary education, but you can donate any amount you would like. Please email
email@example.com or send a check to:
190 N. 14th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Read more about our workshops to hear some of the individual stories of how scholarships have impacted the lives of the artisans.return to top
We are committed to sourcing sustainably harvested materials. Many of our pieces are made from seeds and Andean Collection has found that sustainable seed production in Ecuador can be an effective instrument for poverty reduction and against deforestation.
According to the UN FAO Ecuador has lost about 197.600 hectare of forest cover per year between 1990 and 2010. This extremely elevated rate of deforestation is closely related to the lack of alternative sources of income among impoverished farmers in the rural Andean and Amazonian areas of Ecuador. In 2012 Andean Collection partnered with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), the German Agency for International Cooperation, an important agent for the promotion of sustainable development in Ecuador, to launch the Amazonia Project. The Amazonia Project allows Andean Collection to collaborate with local farmers and track the supply chain of seed production from cultivation to harvest.
In order to ensure that the seeds used in its collection are harvested sustainably, the Amazonia Project provides a direct link between the seed farmers and the artisans in the local community. The sustainable management of natural resources is a priority area for Andean Collection, as poverty and a lack of reliable income play a major role in deforestation in the country. The Amazonia Project aims to conserve biodiversity and reduce poverty by creating sources of income for the local population.
Learn more about the natural materials used in our products.
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Andean Collection provides financial assistance in the form of zero interest loans to help artisans enhance their income from Andean Collection through workshop improvements, or to start a new family business in a different industry. Workshop improvements mean the artisan can employ more people in their village and produce higher quality goods. By encouraging economic diversity, we are helping communities develop new industries to bring more stable economic growth to impoverished regions in South America.return to top
disaster and emergency assistance
Andean Collection works with artisans to help find emergency funds if they have undergone a hardship. If there is no government support available, Andean Collection provides the artisans with a bonus to assist through the hardship. We define emergency and disasters broadly, to include any unexpected event that puts a family in jeopardy of homelessness or starvation. This could include common flooding, unexpected health costs, or an artist’s spouse losing his or her job, if the artisan is not the main breadwinner.
how to donate:
Andean Project, the Andean Collection’s non-profit arm, also accepts donations to assist with disaster relief.
If you would like to provide support to someone who has experienced a tragedy, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org or send a check to:
Andean Projectreturn to top
190 N. 14th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Our staff is comprised of trained mentors who guide the artisans through Andean Collection’s social programs, as well as those provided by the Ecuadorian government.
Andean Collection’s staff mentors help the artisans discover their potential and connect them with resources that make their lives comfortable and more productive. Such support could include helping the artisan get Andean Collection’s no-interest loan to purchase land to grow food or open a small storefront, or connecting the artisans to a government health insurance program.
Andean Collection’s training and scholarship programs are customized and tailored to the needs of each artisan and workshop. Our staff mentors may work with an artisan to help the find the correct vocational school, or lead a training to debunk health myths perpetuated in their communities. Andean Collection’s staff is consistently present in the artisan workshops and serves to reinforce the lessons learned in the various training programs on a daily basis. We are able to guide artisans in career choices and help them develop alternative sources of income that their family can thrive on.return to top