What is fair trade?
Fair trade is an economic system that ensures fair wages and safe, healthy participatory workplaces. It is rooted in a respect for cultural identity and a commitment to both environmental sustainability and community empowerment.
What does this mean for workers?
Since 2005, we’ve been supporting an alternative supply chain where workers are trained to use hand-operated industrial knitting machines and given one free knitting machine (additional looms are available for purchase with zero-interest loans). Knitters set up community-based workshops, staffing them with neighbors and family members. One workshop will specialize in sleeves or panels, another in linking parts. Yarn is distributed and finished work is sent to a central factory for final touches—buttons, labels and other handwork—as well as quality checks and packing. This alternative supply chain was designed by Jessica Rodriguez, the entrepreneur behind Art Atlas, specifically to preserve family and community relationships.
In addition, Art Atlas seeks out artisans in the highlands who are skilled in Peruvian textile traditions of hand knitting and handweaving. These artisans are trained to use their skills to earn fair trade wages, without leaving their villages for the city.