Show Mother Nature who’s boss. Pierce through the wintry gloom with a serotonin-boosting belt, or faja, from The Andean Collection. Ethically handmade in Ecuador, where the brightly colored waist-cinchers are part of the traditional garb, the Inspiration Belts not only chase away gray skies and foul moods, but they also help the women who make them break away from the cycle of poverty.

The Andean Collection, Spring/Summer 2011, eco-friendly belts, fair trade, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Ecuador


The fajas, subtly modified to suit modern sensibilities, are constructed from two pieces of indigenous clothing: the belt itself, a 2.5-inch-wide strip of fabric that is traditionally double-wrapped around the mid-section, and a narrower hair wrap, which is typically wound around a woman’s ponytail but now serves to secure the belt. Tagua nut accents make them even more ogle-worthy.

The belts are ethically made in Ecuador, providing a living wage for women artisans living below the poverty line.

“The women who make these belts are traditionally of low education and living well below the poverty line,” Amanda Judge, the company’s founder and owner, tells Ecouterre. ” By bringing them into our organization, we will be able to give them business training, new design ideas, and a decent wage. We’ve already seen our other artisans move into the middle class, and we hope that with a year, these belt-makers will be on the same path to prosperity.”

A brilliant idea, indeed.

+ Inspiration Belt $68-$98

+ The Andean Collection