PC Fair Trade Beliefs: A letter from our founder

To Our Valued Customers:

For over thirty years, Peruvian Connection has been privileged to work closely with some of the finest traditional cottage industries of South America. During that time, we have developed and nurtured unique relationships with these artisans, based on a long history of mutual respect and fair dealings. Although there is no formally recognized "fair trade" standard for the apparel industry overall, we take our commitment to fair trade with the South American artisans with whom we work very seriously. Furthermore, we strive to work with those vendors that ensure only the best working conditions for their employees.

Peruvian Connection does not own any production facilities in Peru, but we do regularly visit the cottage industries and factories where our production is made. We have worked with many of those small cottage industries 20 years or more, and we do not associate with vendors who use child labor or permit poor working conditions. I know the owners of these businesses personally, and as a company, we strive to do business with them in a fair and respectful manner. In addition, our staff conducts routine factory visits and spends long hours doing extensive quality control inspections. We are satisfied that the artisans who make our production work in satisfactory conditions and are treated with dignity and respect.

The talented artisans with whom we work are in the most skilled tier of artisan production. As such, they are among some of the highest paid people in their profession and are generally very much in demand. Although we are not privy to the specific rates our cottage industry owners pay their artisans, typically, our vendors go to great lengths to keep their skilled artisan work force. These efforts include providing them with transportation, hot meals, bonuses, time off and even day care in some cases.

We work closely with our vendors to set fair prices for their products and only very minimally negotiate prices to ensure that the artisans receive a fair wage for their talents. As a result of the long-term relationships that we have nurtured with these Peruvian artisans over the past 31 years, we are able to offer our customers an exquisite array of extraordinary art knits and beautiful accessories.

Peruvian Connection's commitment to the many artisans with whom we work goes well beyond paying fair wages. We are also committed to supporting many local causes in Peru and elsewhere in Latin America. Notably, Peruvian Connection helps support an orphanage in Peru, helps raise funds for Aprendamos Juntos (a special program for learning disabled children in Peru), and is the primary support of two day care/adult training centers (Comite Peruano De Socorro A Los Ninos) in Lima, Peru, which provide a caring and healthy environment for children, enabling their mothers to take on employment to provide an income for their families.

We strongly believe in economic opportunities for women in Peru, and Peruvian Connection supports one of the most effective micro-finance organizations of its kind, Pro Mujer Peru. Recently awarded a significant grant by the Gates Foundation, Pro Mujer not only provides micro-credit to women, it also offers health care training, child development and business training to 160,000 Latin American women and approximately 800,000 children and extended family members. It has disbursed $78 million in loans to micro-entrepreneurs, maintaining a repayment rate of 99 percent. We are extremely proud to be a close associate and staunch supporter of this wonderful organization.

In the United Kingdom, Peruvian Connection supports the charitable work of the Anglo-Peruvian Society, notably directed towards child health and education initiatives in many diverse regions of Peru.

We are fortunate to be able to do business with the many talented artisans in South America, and we are also gratified by the opportunities Peruvian Connection has helped to create for Peruvian and other Latin American artisans. I hope that you will join us in celebrating the wonderful history and culture of the Andes, brought to us by those artisans who put their hearts and souls into every stitch.

Best wishes,

Annie Hurlbut
Annie Hurlbut
CEO and Co-Founder

Annie Hurlbut
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