The Andean Collection

In the shadow of the Andes mountains, there exists many impoverished farming villages in Ecuador. However, there is one that is slowly changing that one person at a time. Amanda Judge, an American entrepreneur, has been helping Olga Moran, a wife and mother of three, to begin creating her own line of jewelry.

 These jewelry pieces showcase natural seeds and other elements from the Andes mountains and makes them into modern and chic jewelry pieces. The pieces, made in Ecuador, are then shipped and sold in the United States and throughout the world.

Originally an academic project, The Andean Collection strives to help women out of rural poverty through the sales of their jewelry. It allows other people to benefit than just the artisans. In order to collect the seeds, farmers need to climb high into the tree canopy to collect the pods. This process does not harm the forest in any way and enables farmers an alternative income instead of selling their land to be logged. It also allows these women to spend more time with their families rather than spending all day farming. Another advantage of this program is the fact that these artisans are no longer living from day to day and are able to save money for the first time in their lives.

By enabling people to help themselves, The Andean Collection embodies all three  components of sustainability(economic, social, and environmental).

For more information on the story, here is an article and video on the project.

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