14 Ethical and Sustainable Latin American Brands

14 Ethical and Sustainable Latin American Brands

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This page may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. There is no additional cost to you whatsoever.

Image Credit: Ayni
This put up accommodates some affiliate hyperlinks, which implies in case you make a purchase order, EcoCult receives a small proportion of the sale value. Some manufacturers might have paid a small charge to be featured. We solely suggest manufacturers that we actually consider in. Support our editorial work by supporting them!

Visit Latin America, and you’ll rapidly discover its pleasant individuals, upbeat music, and nice meals. It’s a area that’s wealthy in a whole bunch of ethnicities and cultures, all of which closely affect its trend business. With the area’s high-quality uncooked supplies and textile traditions, Latin America’s trend business is deeply rooted in nature, tradition, and native economies. 

While the languages, customs, and aesthetics of Latin American communities are various, they do have some issues in frequent that can make any acutely aware trend shopper fall in love. 

What to search for in sustainable trend from Latin America

Heritage Fabrics

Latin America — and particularly Peru — is house to a number of fascinating materials, together with Pima cotton, wool, and alpaca.

Pima cotton is a large business in Peru. It’s a delicate and superb materials that’s primarily harvested within the coastal valleys of the northern a part of the nation, which has ample rainwater and small farms and cooperatives.

Peru can also be the main world producer of alpaca, a pure fiber that comes from alpacas, that are cousins to the camel. The alpaca fiber is biodegradable, particularly if left undyed and untreated with chemical finishes. Vicuña wool comes from vicuñas, alpaca’s luxurious cousin, which reside within the excessive alpine areas of the Andes mountains in Peru. This sort of wool is taken into account “cloth of gold,” because it’s an expensive fiber that’s finer and more expensive than cashmere. It was a material that solely Inca royalty was permitted to put on.

Local Craft

Many manufacturers take delight within the area’s historic strategies which have been handed down generationally between households. You will discover weaving, hand dyeing, and hand spinning as a number of the preserved abilities. These are artwork varieties which can be typically the first supply of revenue for households, and lots of Latin American manufacturers modernize these cultural traditions to present artisans entry to extra worthwhile international trend markets.

These designs can typically be high-ticket objects resulting from their detailed, handmade craftsmanship. But their prime quality design means they are going to final a very long time and may be repaired, making them lifetime items. 

Natural Dyes 

Coloring textiles with pure dyes has a protracted historical past in Latin America. For instance, Oaxaca, Mexico is legendary for its small indigenous villages which use plant and bug dyes relationship again to more than 1,000 years within the indigenous Zapotec custom.

Many manufacturers work onerous to protect these historic strategies, as there have been considerations about artificial dyes’ environmental and well being dangers since they will include heavy metals and carcinogens.

You’ll discover modern-day Latin American manufacturers dyed utilizing pure dyes derived from leaves and flowers, together with turmeric and urucum, aka annatto, a shrub native to Mexico and South America. It’s a craftwork that provides worth to textile manufacturing and finish customers.

Low-Waste Packaging

Look for manufacturers that favor FSC-certified paper over plastic, use pure, non-toxic dyes like soy as a substitute of conventional petroleum-based ink, or supply yard compostable packaging. You may even discover Latin American trend manufacturers that use eucalyptus wooden, cotton, and water-based dyes for his or her packaging.


Shopping for sustainable trend objects generally is a difficult activity. Therefore, we propose you seek for manufacturers that carry certifications resembling Fair Trade, USDA Organic, or GOTS, a normal that governs the complete strategy of rising and processing natural cotton into material. Also, we suggest you like manufacturers that work with moral suppliers that conform to strict animal welfare requirements. The international nonprofit Textile Exchange lately created The Responsible Alpaca Standard (RAS), a brand new certification that ensures alpaca welfare and land administration. 

Here are a few of our favourite manufacturers which can be both owned by a Latin American designer or assist conventional Latin American artisanship and are accessible to North American customers.

Founded in 2012, VOZ is a B Corp-certified moral trend firm that pays residing wages for each textile and sewn garment. It makes use of sustainable fibers and processes to create its elegantly lower and free-spirited attire and equipment collections. The firm collaborates with politically and economically marginalized ladies to create trend collections, and supply design management, coaching, and alternative for indigenous ladies within the rural areas the place they reside.

Gabriela Hearst launched her eponymous label, a luxurious ladies’s and males’s ready-to-wear and equipment assortment, in 2015. Each garment is constructed with conscientious supplies, together with silk, cashmere, linen, and wool from her household’s Uruguayan ranch. The model makes use of biodegradable TIPA packaging and is dedicated to being plastic-free and investing in zero-waste shops.

This revered Chilean dressmaker has nearly all of her collections manufactured in NYC with eco-friendly materials. Her designs are characterised by their timelessness, ease, and trendy tackle luxurious. The firm is owned and run by ladies, and the workforce constantly appears to develop particular collaborations with ladies artisans world wide.

Founded in 2016, Selva Negra is an moral size-inclusive attire owned by two Dominican-descent designers, Kristen Gonzalez and Samantha Romero. Its modern shapes and multi-use silhouettes are absolutely produced in Downtown Los Angeles, and it’s dedicated to ethically sourced supplies, manufacturing transparency, and zero-waste packaging. Selva Negra sources its materials domestically in Los Angeles, CA, and a few from Japan and Turkey. All its trims are sourced from Los Angeles or Japan. 

Osklen is a Brazilian modern attire and equipment model dedicated to an ‘As Sustainable As Possible, As Soon As Possible’ philosophy. It signifies that the model is consistently discovering methods to boost its sustainability scope. The model has experimented with pure dyes, resembling turmeric, urucum. It additionally makes use of Pirarucu leather-based, a kind of leather-based comprised of Brazilian fish pores and skin that may be a byproduct of tribal fisheries to create lovely luggage. Osklen can also be supported by Instituto-e, a non-profit group devoted to sustainable growth. Its U.S. packaging is comprised of 100% recycled content material and can also be absolutely recyclable.

Carolina Okay is a way of life model created by Argentinian designer Carolina Kleinman. Known for distinctive prints and impressed by a want to protect the artisanal traditions of indigenous peoples, her items are handmade by artisans in distant areas of Mexico, Peru, and India. Carolina Okay bathing fits are comprised of ECONYL, which is 100% recycled nylon.

Based in Mexico, Armando Takeda is an artisanal clothes model that collaborates with artisans to create fascinating and sellable excessive trend items. The model appears for communities in want that use strategies that it might work with, after which it learns about their historic method, meanings, supplies, utilization of shade, and designs. And with their permission, the model innovates the neighborhood’s artifacts and merges them with the best high quality materials world wide in its atelier in Mexico City.

Ayni is a Peruvian-Danish model that mixes minimalist modernism with artisanal manufacturing in Peru, utilizing the native textiles of alpaca and Pima cotton. Along with its manufacturing, all of its main supplies are sourced with the assistance and assist from small workshops and teams of artisans situated each within the metropolis and the highlands of Peru. Through its work, it goals to domesticate and honor historic strategies and cultural heritage whereas empowering feminine artisans. 

Female-founded Calmo is an Uruguayan attire, equipment, and residential items model that works carefully with native artisans to protect conventional craftsmanship. It works with native artisans who concentrate on totally different areas resembling pure dyeing, wool felting, hand printing, and carpentry. The model’s capsule collections are each timeless and trendy and are made utilizing pure supplies resembling superb Merino wool, pure silk, and linen. It additionally makes use of pure dyes derived from leaves and flowers. Calmo’s packaging is made out of supplies like Uruguayan eucalyptus wooden, cotton, and water-based dyes. And its material luggage and wood bins are designed to be reused at house.

Based in Mexico, Collectiva Concepcion is a socially acutely aware, accessible luxurious model that creates female attire rooted in Mexican design. The model helps women-led micro-economies in Mexico and donates a proportion of its gross sales to them.

Based in Peru, Escvdo is a recent, moral luxurious trend model impressed by and devoted to its Peruvian heritage. The model prides itself on utilizing ancestral weaving strategies to create its trendy and chic designs. Escvdo employs expert artisans in each the sourcing of supplies and the creation of its handmade items. It works with a predominantly feminine artisan workers and is devoted to recruiting and selling ladies artisans. Escvdo’s natural Pima cotton comes from the coastal area of Pisco, Peru, and adheres to the best fair-trade requirements. And its Alpaca wool is sourced from the Peruvian Andes, the place it companions with native craftspeople to protect conventional sheering and hand spinning strategies.

Based in New York, Recreo San Miguel is a recent way of life model handmade by expert artisans in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It is dedicated to craftsmanship, sustainability, and optimistic social change whereas paying homage to the Serape area’s iconic ancestral garment. The model is understood for incorporating timeless and versatile components into all of its types.

American-owned MZ is a good commerce model that designs luggage and equipment that perpetuate the gorgeous artistry of the designers and artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico. Its merchandise are hand-dyed and handwoven utilizing a course of utilized by the Zapotecs for hundreds of years. The model’s objective is to make weaving a extra viable livelihood for the artisans and join Zapotec textiles with socially acutely aware customers across the globe.

Founded in 2013, Entreaguas is a ​Colombian ​socially-conscious swimwear ​model ​that comes with artisan strategies resembling macrame and hand-dyeing to create what they name “wearable” (and really attractive) artwork. Its designs are crafted ​in Colombia ​by the fingers of artisans who’re single moms.