We were fortunate enough to share our story with the readers of Your True Colours this month. Your True Colours is an all digital magazine presenting real fashion for real people highlighting up and coming companies.
Thank you True Colors for the opportunity to share who we are and what we do!
OUR HANDS FOR HOPE
SIMPLE TOOLS CREATING MODERN DESIGNS.
HANDMADE, HONESTLY SOURCED, ETHICALLY FASHIONABLE
BY CINTHYA RUBIO, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR @ OUR HANDS FOR HOPE
If traveling to another country, people tend to Google “top 10 things to see or do”. If going to Peru that list would suggest visiting Machu Picchu, enjoying amazing food in Lima, flying over the Nazca Lines, or exploring the Amazon. Once travelers experience all these breathtaking sites in Peru and return home it would be hard for them to believe that the majestic place they just visited has people living in extreme poverty.
When members from Project New Hope International visited Peru, their eyes were open to a different reality. Moving away from the city lights of Lima and the enchanting Cusco ruins, they visited places like Trujillo. Despite the lovely town center and beautiful hotels set up for tourist, they only needed to travel 15 kilometers away to witness “La Esperanza”, a barrio known for being the most unsafe area in northern Peru. The presence of poverty, lack of jobs, and high numbers of single mothers made the Project New Hope Members wonder how these families had come to live in such circumstances.Within the last twenty years Peru has gone through some major changes. The political arena has left many scars upon this country; the memories of corrupt politicians and guerrilla groups that terrorized the people for years still come to mind. These rebel groups along with a corrupt government have now been linked to thousands of deaths and disappearances over the last 20 years. As a result families have been torn apart. Women have been moving out of the highlands into the cities looking for a better life for their children and themselves. When they arrive they are met with a lack of housing, money, and employment. The barrios, shanty towns, become their neighborhood. If they are fortunate enough to find any employment they have to travel miles out of the area to work, leaving their children behind.
Unlike many nonprofit organizations, Project New Hope International knew that collecting donations to then invest in these areas to give handouts to those in need would not suffice to create a permanent change. Instead they partnered with an international Non-Governmental Organization, Creation Peru, to offer extensive training in cultural textile arts, such as crochet, knit, macramé, horquilla, crewel, and embroidery. These two organizations knew that in order to help the people of the barrios of Trujillo, it would be necessary to empower them and strengthen their abilities in order to create a sustainable practice that will have long term effects.
Our Hands For Hope, a for profit socially responsible company, was then created here in the US to establish partnerships with the women that received the training offered. The main company goal is to create sustainable incomes to better the lives of impoverished women by the means of business and design mentorship to bring their products up to par with standards and trends, along with distribution, marketing, and a platform to introduce their products to the international market. Basically our structure and goal is to never give handouts-all wages are earned, because we aim to empower these women, always with hope and dignity.
With the women of Trujillo, we have created a fashion line using luxurious Alpaca Yarn and silky Pima Cotton that Peru has to offer. Our artisans make each item with high quality standards in mind, but most importantly with love. By combining the exceptional technique of the artisans with the designs created by the owner and head designer of the company, Terisa Brooks-Huddleston, we have been able to forge an apparel line that caters to a discerning clientele that wants unique crafted items.
We launch both Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter lines each year and have been fortunate enough to be able to showcase our items in 45 stores and boutiques spread across six US states and Canada as well as on our website http://www.OurHandsForHope.com.
We have been able to combine the best of the fashion world and the socially responsible world… now you can look great and feel great knowing that what you are wearing is helping change the life of a woman, her children and her community. Help us continue this great adventure by purchasing one of our beautiful fashion accessories and by sharing our story with your friends and family. We initially set out to reach the women in Peru, but with the success we have experienced, we have now been invited to take our sustainable business model into other countries. This next year we are excited to bring to our customers an extended line of artisan products from India, Cambodia and Sumatra.