Women move mountains: artisans collaborate with fashion designer Stella Jean in the Peruvian Andes

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Kyrgyz mountain women collaborate with fashion designer Stella Jean

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Fashion for Fragile Ecosystems

Fashion for Fragile Ecosystems aims to improve the livelihoods of mountain and island communities around the world while ensuring the protection of their environments by linking cultural heritage and traditional design with ethical, contemporary fashion.

Mountains and islands experience dual challenges of being very fragile ecosystems with very vulnerable populations, highly impacted by climate change, natural disasters, economic shocks and marginalization. Small communities of artisans in the remotest mountain areas and the smallest islands around the world are often custodians of naturally circular economies with the highest quality and the lowest environmental impact. However, often their legacy risks to be lost as their isolation – the distance from markets – and the long value chains with many intermediaries do not favour fair compensation to the primary producers.

How it works

Fashion for Fragile Ecosystems brings together artists and artisans from the remotest regions of the world with international fashion brands to create lasting change through equal exchange of skills, traditional knowledge and cultural heritage. An international fashion designer works hand in hand with a group of local artists and artisans and co-designs a contemporary collection inspired by their local traditions, knowledge and culture.

Technical training and financial support is provided to local producers and results are showcased though dedicated events and communication campaigns. Each collection is presented to the international market and produced by the fashion brand involved. The intellectual property rights are then granted free of charge to the artisans, to enable them to keep producing and selling the garments through their own channels.




This initiative is supported by:

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