Photograph by Cecilia Renard.
To Our Community,
It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through another year. Like many of us, I was certain that 2021 would be different, and that we had surely made it through the worst time we would ever experience together. I stepped into the year with a lot to be hopeful for – a new president, a vaccine rollout, and a return to living and working in community, after spending so much time apart. But despite all the progress being made here in the U.S., much of the world has continued to face the devastating impacts of COVID-19, and we as a brand have remained steadfast in our commitment to support our maker communities through this time.
Together, over the last 6 months our global team has navigated loss, hardship, fear and the endless complications that the pandemic has brought upon our global supply chain. But alongside this collective struggle, we’ve found a way to press on and advance our mission of honoring Earth + maker.
We provided thousands of hours of living wages to artisan communities worldwide, offered meaningful employment to hundreds of makers, and made massive strides in our commitment to environmental responsibility. It hasn’t been easy, but what I know to be true, is that the most beautiful of things arise from the struggle.
Our mid-year impact update is a testament to all the beauty we managed to create amongst the struggle, and a reminder of what we’re truly capable of when we work together to push forward progress. I’m proud of what our team has accomplished over the last six months and ready for what we’ll achieve next. Thank you for being a part of this community and enabling our ability to create this level of impact.
Founder and CEO
Maker Impact Statistics:
Photos by Ray Vazquez.
Practices such as upcycling and reducing textile waste, our
Photograph by Grow Ahead.
Through Grow Ahead, we are partnering with the Central Cooperative of the Agrarian Reform Areas of Ceará (CCA) in Ceará, Brazil to plant trees in the Women-led Reforestation in Brazil project.
The goal of CCA’s Peasant Women, Planting Trees Producing Healthy Foods initiative to promote reforestation in agroecological production systems with native and fruit trees, which guarantee healthy food, recovery of native forests, care for natural resources (water, land, biodiversity) and build peasant and popular feminism and income generation for peasant families.
Types of Trees: Acerola Sabiá / Graviola Pau Branco / Orange Ingá / Lemon Catingueira / Banana Oiticica / Acaí Mororó / Avocado Cumaru / Coconut Barriguda / Tamarindo Maniçoba / Passion Fruit Canafístula / Plum Ipê- / & more.
Maya Ixil is a cooperative of 200 small-scale indigenous coffee farmers in the Ixil Triangle, a grouping of communities in the northwestern highlands of Guatemala. The project works with 200 members of this indigenous cooperative to establish trees and plants on their family farms that will serve as coffee shade trees and food for bees, while supporting organic food production and more biodiverse farms.
In 2015, Food 4 Farmers and Maya Ixil established a beekeeping program to generate income for families, promote environmental resiliency and contribute to food security goals. This project will help Maya Ixil beekeepers and other members use agroecological practices to establish and sustain agroforestry systems on their coffee farms, grow food for their families, sell or trade excess crops from their farms, save seeds, improve soil nutrition, reduce erosion, and conserve water.
Types of Trees: Lemon Persian Lemon / Mandarine Citrus Reticulata, Citrus Unshiu, Citrus Tangerina / Peach Prunus persica
Together with our friends at Madewell, we launched a collection of breezy summer silhouettes in playful colors and organic textiles, that are exclusively available at madewell.com. Each piece was handcrafted from certified organic cotton and linen in our Jaipur studio by empowered makers for living wages. This collaboration allowed us to sustainably employ 85 artisans with 40,800 total hours of living wages, and furthered our work to bring handcrafted, organic fashion to a wider audience. Shop the Collection >
We’re grateful that we were able to add a new artisan group to our worldwide community this year. Asociacion de Mujeres Ránm Ixoqi’ is a group of 15 women from Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Originally, this community of women came from Comolapa, San Martin, Tecpan, but they were unjustly evicted from their homes in 1981 due to the armed conflict in Guatemala. These women have been an associated group for 20 years and specialize in backstrap weaving and the art of natural dye. We’re honored to work with this community of artists and survivors to offer meaningful employment and preserve indigenous craft. Together we created a timeless collection of woven accessories including totes, bucket hats, and travel pouches. Shop the Collection >
At LAUDE the Label we understand that everything we make has an impact on our earth and our makers, which is why we’re on a path to become carbon neutral by the end of 2021. Since 2019 we’ve partnered with Grow Ahead to invest in agroforestry and conservation efforts through our eco-shipping program. This year we made an important decision to take our sustainability efforts one step further by committing to 0% net carbon in order to do our part to combat environmental destruction through investments that support reforestation in Guatemala and Brazil. We understand that the fashion industry is a major contributor to climate change, and we’re committed to taking responsibility to neutralize any harm caused through our business model.
As our apparel collection has grown over the last several years and we’ve introduced new fabrics into our catalogue, one priority has remained – using natural fiber textiles, avoiding microplastics from synthetics, and sourcing organic or upcycled wherever it is possible. While the majority of our collection was organic or upcycled, several key styles were still being made from non-organic cotton. We are pleased to announce that with the AW21 Season, all plant-based textiles in our collection are certified organic or upcycled. Not only is this an amazing step in environmental consciousness, the textiles are also softer and more beautiful than ever.
Earlier this year, we launched our Journal as a place for content exploring topics such as sustainability, the empowerment of women, community, social justice, new collection launches, our design process, and monthly conversations with people we admire to live permanently on our site. This platform allows us to engage in important discussions in a more lasting way, offer a more transparent look behind the brand, and educate on the many makers, traditions and techniques that create the pieces you wear. We hope it will be a resource of information and inspiration to our community.