Latin America: Rich in Cultural Traditions, Natural Fibers, & Unlimited Potential

For the past 10 years, Hecho x Nosotros (HxN)  has worked closely with actors across civil society and international institutions in order to promote sustainability in the textile and fashion industries.  At HxN, we believe that the fashion industry can be transformed into a force of good though conscious consumption, sustainable production processes, and timeless and durable design.

Today's global market enjoys enormous potential in terms of sustainability. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by shifting to a circular system, the fashion industry could unlock a $560 billion economic opportunity (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017). The fashion market In Latin America is the fastest-growing market in the world with a 4.5-5.5% average annual growth rate (Young 2017). In terms of sustainability, Latin America has unparalleled potential due to the high-quality of its natural fibers and rich cultural textile traditions. Sustainability is engrained in the region's DNA as indigenous communities have cultivated in harmony with the environment.

Nevertheless, we face many challenges in unlocking the region's potential as the Latin textile market is not yet organized in a way in which local artisans in the region can access the necessary tools to engage with the global fashion market. Currently, artisans obtain a very small percentage of the value of their products as there is no independent market for fibers, perpetuating a non-circular economy. Our aim is to foster collaborative networks and technological tools that enable transparency between the supply chain and the consumer. 


At HxN we propose the sustainable development of the camelids market in Latin America as an alternative solution to addressing the environmental and social issues faced by the fashion industry. Over the years, HxN has impacted the lives of more than 7,500 artisans and producers by giving preparation workshops and job opportunities.  By working with a network of "B corporations'', ITC, UNCTAD, the UN, and other international organizations, Adriana Marina, founder of both animaná and Hecho x Nosotros, has lead a collaborative academic network which allows us to highlight the potential and importance of Latin America in the world.

We invite you to join us and become a key player of systemic change in the fashion industry!

Author: Micaela Vega

Editors: Alondra Magana & Hailey Matarese









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References


Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “Fashion and the Circular Economy.” Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017, www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/explore/fashion-and-the-circular-economy.


Terazono, Emiko. Can Fast Fashion's $2.5tn Supply Chain Be Stitched Back Together? 17 May 2020, www.ft.com/content/62dc687e-d15f-46e7-96df-ed7d00f8ca55.


Young, Robb. “Latin America's $160 Billion Fashion Opportunity.” The Business of Fashion, The Business of Fashion, 18 May 2017, www.businessoffashion.com/articles/global-currents/latin-americas-160-billion-fashion-opportunity.



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