I believe in social responsibility!
When I visit third world countries where poverty is rampant, I question why am I one of the lucky ones to have so many opportunities in life while these people don't? With my eyes on social responsibility, and incorporating my love for design and my heritage, I decided I needed to create opportunities for people that are willing to work and do it in an honest and meaningful way.
My mom was born and raised in Guatemala so I was raised with a deep love and appreciation for its culture, which I consider my own. My mom/business partner and I are both educated in textiles, and with that knowledge we have sought out world-class weavers from around the world! We are committed to working with our weavers and craftsmen using ethical business practices. We do not devalue their skill set by haggling down their prices or taking advantage of them in any way.
We use premium textiles and pay premium prices for them when considering which one-of-a-kind fabrics to buy. We also work with three fair trade co-ops to source our newly woven fabrics as well as working directly with weavers that are accustom to fair trade practices but would rather work directly with Nena & Co.
Manufacturing our own product is key to our mission.
As Nena grew, I realized the only way I could truly know that our leather craftsmen/women were being paid fairly, using quality materials, working in a safe environment and being given sustainable work was to do our own manufacturing. That’s when I decided to partner with my mom to take on the responsibility of building the Guatemalan team of 60+ seamstresses, leather craftsmen/women, master weavers and administration staff. And that team is still growing! Nena and Co. honors its work and pays our employees and craftsmen/women fair wages.
What does this mean for you?
The same principles are applied to the products we sell in the USA and around the world! We value what we make but value you, our customers, too, so we set our prices fairly and accordingly. My challenge to you is to ask yourself "what is MY social responsibility"? Although you may not be able to start a business or donate your time the way you might like to, you can control the companies you support through meaningful purchases or "shopping with a cause". This can be done by supporting Nena & Co. and other brands that follow the same business model of transparency, who are advocates of “slow fashion.” We can collectively make a difference! I love what I do, I love my heritage and I love my family. The team of people I work with love what they do, and I hope you can see the beauty in the products Nena & Co. brings to you!
“It is the mission of Nena & Co. to design and create products that are innovative in design, are unique, and are driven by high-quality standards; to celebrate the individuality of the Nena Society and the artistry of cultures around the world.”
-Ali Hynek, CEO of Nena & Co.