FAIRE COLLECTION Fairtrade
Fair Trade, Organic Clothing, Ethical Fashion
Four years after college, Amanda Judge decided to completely start over and left her job in finance to find inspiration and volunteer throughout Latin America. Judge, then 26, didn’t know exactly what she wanted to pursue, but she hoped to bridge her financial aptitude with a desire to make a positive impact on the world.
While researching how communities could sustainably bring themselves out of poverty for her master’s degree in economic development, her ideal blend of interests finally clicked. Her fair trade accessories business, Faire Collection, was born.
Her project entailed meeting local artisans, and Judge immediately saw the potential for their work in a world market. She spent afternoons wandering through the Ecuadorian markets and fell in love with the atmosphere. “I realized that if I could spend more time in more markets around the world and meet more artisans, it would be a really fulfilling life,” Judge says.
She identified the number one reason that artisan families were stuck in a cycle of poverty – lack of access to profitable markets. “They were forced to give whatever price the middle man asked,” Judge says.
Judge came back to the U.S. with a suitcase of jewelry she had designed with the artisans and walked around to stores in Boston’s Harvard Square until she had her first client.
Five years later, Faire Collection supplies its fair trade products made in Ecuador, Vietnam, and Swaziland to thousands of boutiques around the world as well as 15 major clients—including Nordstrom, Anthropologie, DKNY and J.Jill. Judge’s award-winning business has 20 employees, worldwide and works to provide better lives for hundreds of artisans.
As a social enterprise, Faire Collection was founded to bring sustainable change to impoverished communities in South America. As a fashion brand, Faire Collection has changed the landscape of what to expect from fair trade products.
This story has been adapted from The Story Exchange’s feature on Amanda Judge, Faire CEO, in which she was awarded one of 10 “Young Women to Watch”.
, Ethical Fashion
, Fair Trade
, Fair Trade Accessories
, Organic Clothing