【Trendy】INTERVIEW: Sara Milanés, Co-founder of Hope Made in the World【Tuesday】


Today’s Trendy Tuesday article features one, special, ethical, fashion brand “Hope Made in the World”. At the end of the article, you can find our interview with the co-founder of the brand, so stitch around until the end! 


Supporting the artisans in Peru and Columbia

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Let me tell you a little about the brand. Hope Made in the World is a brand based in Latin America. Especially they help the local artisans in Peru and Columbia.
For example, the beautiful bags with a unique pattern on the photo above are called “Mochila Arhuaco” and are the traditional crafts made by the women of the Arhuaco tribe. The people of Arhuaco have been living mainly in the central Columbia, and have a long history and tradition, deeply rooted to the lands of Sierra Nevada. The special bag with patterns shown above, traditionally, can only be made by a woman who gave birth.


To know the background of the product and to know the people who were involved in producing it is so essential, however, the majority of the youths these days tend to disregard those basic factors.

All of the products are made with care and great skills. Hope Made in the World offers artisan bags, tees made from organic materials, high-quality knitwear and even menswear.

Child Labor Free, Transparent, Fair Trade

Hope Made in the World is certified as child labor free, which guarantees that the brand is not involved in any kind of shady child labor business throughout its entire production process.
I honestly think that, in essence, there should not be any certifications at all indicating that the products are child-labor-free. This should be a global standard for all of the industries, actually, this should rather be a common sense, which what the fashion industry these days seem to be lacking.
Another amazing point that Hope Made in the World has is that they use an eco-friendly logistics. Not many brands care about the process of how their products are being sent to the customers. I, myself, didn’t even know that such thing existed.

All the materials used for the products are organic, some certified and 100% local. I can strongly assure you that this brand is taking the matter of ethical fashion very seriously.

(In-article, Ms. Sara Milanés is marked as SM)

Q. Is Hope Made in the World a Latin American brand? Is it established in Latin America? If so, why Latin America and why specifically Peru and Columbia? How long have you been in the ethical fashion market? We would like to know the story behind your brand!

SM: Yes, we are a Latin American brand based in Columbia serving primarily the US market. However, we ship worldwide. We chose Latin America because our roots are from here, and one of the most incredible raw materials comes from this part of the world. We are also able to control our supply chain better and make sure we maintain the ethical aspect of the business intact.
We started the brand about 3 years ago, however, we launched to the market in 2016. I had been working for the industry for the past 13 years, and I was heavily unmotivated. My academic and professional background has been in the textile business, and I wanted to make sure I would contribute and work as transparent as possible in my area of expertise. Give back to communities, make positive change.
I have been in the ethical business for the past 5 years. Although have been part of the sector for approximately 13 years.

Q. On the website it is written that your brand is certified as child labor free. What kind of significant results have you achieved as an ethical brand? Could you tell me how exactly your brand is helping the local production in Peru and Columbia?

SM: We audit the factories we work with every year, and for us, it is imperative to work with the worlds most challenging issue as is child labor. It all needs systemic reform, so for us to guarantee that we work in an ethical manner is vital. In Columbia, we work with a women’s co-op, and we promote their craftsmanship and traditions. We pay them fair wages and promote a positive livelihood and their profession. These women are weavers and help us to produce our WEAVING HOPE COLLECTION. This product and the work these women do helps us get closer to our mission. We also help them maintain a tradition that has been alive for generations. There is a group of 18 women called the Zaku Amuruke, which means “Weavers of Thought”. They are the epitome of powerful womanhood and solidarity, as the group’s main purpose, was to help women with roles as heads of family. Through the weaving and design processes, the women aim to send
a message and legacy from their previous generations including messages about their culture, where they come from, and why they do what they do. As a sustainable, fair trade, and certified child-labor-free brand, we are on a mission to transform the way
the world perceives, produces, and consumes style. That’s why we work directly with indigenous tribes in Columbia, paying them fair wages, to create one of our top products, the Arhuaco mochila. We believe sustainable and fair trade fashion can change the
world- the environment and the lives of individuals. The Arhuaco mochila is just one example of how our brand is committed to that mission.

Q. Why do you use an eco-friendly logistic center and how is it beneficial to the environment?

1. We use new recycled paper for packing slips. This not only reduces the amount of natural resources we use but also keeps specific chemicals out of the watershed.
2. 99.9999% of what we use is recycled or reused within our warehouse operation.
3. We purchase green power from our local utility and use eco- friendly lighting throughout our facility.
4. Our electric forklifts run on green power. There are no noxious fumes to penetrate your products and make them stink.
5. We use brand-new recycled boxes to ship your products. It not only looks nice, it makes you feel good, too! By doing this, we are able to save small forests each year.
6. We buy all office/packing and warehouse supplies locally. No one has to use up packing supplies to ship us packing supplies.
7. When we invoice, it’s electronic, not paper. You’re welcome.
8. Verde saves enough paper to produce over 3,000 average
elementary school textbooks per year.
9. Our hearts are in the right place.

Q. What do you think that makes you stand out among other similar brands in the market?

SM: We offer exceptional customer service (this is vital to our reason-why) and long-lasting products. Our items can last decades when proper care is given. We are committed to our CHILD LABOR FREE journey. Children are the future.

Q. What is your opinion on the global trend on fast fashion?

SM: It exists. I don’t personally support it. I think it is quite irresponsible, its vastly damaging, and its damage is getting worse. However, this is a consumer-led movement, collaborative effort for systemic change is needed.

Q. Do you have any plans to expand your business to a larger market e.g., to distribute to more countries around the world?

SM: Yes, in the future.

Q. Could you give a message to the readers of our media? 🙂

SM: Be informed, be curious, ask questions. Be kind.

 Explore more about Hope Made on their official website

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