Designer Lula Mena was on a mission to preserve the traditional artisan techniques of her home country, El Salvador, when she founded her eponymous line of eco-friendly home and fashion accessories in 2011. She did even better: The women she employs to make the bold earrings, patterned cover-ups, and colorful pillows in her collections are now the main providers in their families.
Designers and friends Annia Ezquerro and Monserrat Dominguez launched their fashion line, Korimi Kids, in 2015 as a way to connect their kids to Mexico’s indigenous roots. Handmade by women in Chiapas and Estado de México, many of the pieces (embroidered vests, sweet garlands, decorative pillows) are inspired by legends and stories in Mexican folklore.
When bank executive Laura Viveros spotted a cute pair of handmade espadrilles in Curití, Colombia, while visiting with family, she knew she had to share the weavers’ artistry with the rest of the world. In 2016, she cofounded Soles for Change, which now carries over 30 styles of the on-trend shoes for both men and women. Best part: Twenty-five percent of each purchase goes back to the senior artisans and single mothers who make them.