The Sweater Venture was born in the late 1970's by a couple of recent college graduates interested in learning about and appreciating varied customs, cultures and values in communities in far away corners of the world.
Now, now many years later, with those far-away corners so much closer, we try to hold on to those core values as tightly as ever. That means working as directly as possible with the many artisans whose work contributes to our collections. To that end we return regularly to Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nepal, among other destinations, and work cooperatively with knitters, yarn spinners, yarn dyers, jewelry makers, mask carvers, instrument makers, collectors of antique fabrics and so many others to create our unique collections. It also means always paying fair wages and promoting healthy, safe working conditions. The pieces we produce are not made in sweatshops or by children or even in factories. Instead most work is done in the home or in community centers on a “cottage industry” basis. This means that supplies are limited and minor variations exist between pieces but it also means that artisans can enjoy family, friends and community while making a good living. Paying our coworkers well has contributed to strong economic development in many of the communities in which we work. This has fostered better economic opportunities for the young, a better health and nutritional environment for all and coincided with stabilizing democratic options in their home nations.
We recognize that we have not changed the world, nor is it our intention to do so, but all of us at Marketplace at The Sweater Venture believe that it is important to behave honorably and with respect toward our coworkers around the world, that we export the best of our values and recognize and appreciate the best in others. Your support allows us to continue that work and is very much appreciated.