What We Do

For nearly two decades, Mercado Global has transformed the lives of Indigenous women and their families in Central America. We thoughtfully design fashion accessories in partnership with our artisans and world-renowned retailers⁠⁠ —empowering the women who weave our collections and inspiring the women who wear them. Together, we have worked to make the fashion world to be more ethical, sustainable, and just⁠ —for all of us.

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Our model

Mercado Global is a Brooklyn-based accessory brand and non-profit that empowers rural Latin American women to become entrepreneurs. Through donor-funded business education and leadership programs, we help women create community businesses to support themselves and their families. By designing collections for the international market while using traditional local weaving techniques, we are changing the status quo for women, communities, and the industry.

Our Programs
To Empower

At Mercado Global, we believe in a holistic approach to poverty alleviation.

 

Community-Based Education

Our Community-Based Education program provides trainings and workshops in local languages.

This continued learning, paired with income-earning opportunities, enables women to become confident leaders, in charge of family health, finances, and education.

Market Access

The women we partner with are incredibly talented weavers and sewers, whose main barrier between a life of poverty and unlimited possibilities is access to a market.

We design collections for international retailers while using traditional local weaving techniques, providing:

Raw Materials, Shipping and Exportation, Design Work, Marketing

Asset Development

With the help of our regional partners, we gift artisans with sewing machines and looms, so they may develop their craft and increase production, resulting in additional income. We provide matching monetary incentives for artisans to save a portion of their earnings, allowing them to build their resources. And in times of need such as a medical emergency, we’re there to offer financial assistance.

With Mercado Global’s holistic approach, women are breaking the cycle of extreme poverty and becoming entrepreneurs in their own right.

The Impact of Our Programs On Our Partner Artisans

Across the board, Mercado Global partner artisans are thriving in comparison to the national average.

Education

99% of MG artisans’ children are enrolled in school.

35% of children are enrolled in school in Guatemala’s rural areas.

Bank Account

64% of MG artisans have a personal bank account.

Only 27% of the indigenous population have bank accounts.

Food and Nutrition

73% of MG artisans have access to the food and nutrition they need.

Only 45% of Guatemala's indigenous rural population has access to proper nutrition.

Women Leadership

84% of MG artisans are in a leadership position despite the inequality faced in a male-dominated society.

Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of gender-motivated violence in the world.

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