Mexican pottery advocates Colectivo 1050° innovate with traditional crafts

Since 2009, the Oaxaca-based organization Innovando la Tradición has been invested in rethinking the imperatives of clay-based crafts, while promoting sustainable practices. Besides running educational activities across potters’ communities in the region, the group’s commercial branch, Colectivo 1050°, identifies opportunities for the distribution of handmade objects to contemporary and high-end markets. AN Interior contributor Benoît Loiseau speaks with cofounder Diego Mier y Terán about the organization’s challenges and hopes.

Tippy Tippens and All Things Good

I hadn’t heard the term social entrepreneurship before coming to New Orleans. When I did, it really clicked with me – I realized that this is exactly what I want to do. To use my design skills to do good for the world, to help change things for the better. It inspired me to start my company, where all of our products give back and are made of eco-friendly materials.

Tippy Tippens

Located in Mid-City, the Goods That Matter shop invites customers in with the gentle aroma of its soaps, candles and fragrances. But passersby might not suspect this cozy shop on the streetcar line is also a groundbreaking business venture.

The colorful story behind swinging seats that look good, feel good, and do good.

Launched in 2012, Yellow Leaf trains and employs The Mlabri, a group of people who have previously battled exploitation, slavery, and malnourishment, with safe, dignified work. Most of the weavers are mothers who are given the flexibility to weave at home and make their own schedules. In the past four years, the number of trained weavers has grown from 25 to 200 (with a planned 160 additional jobs to be created this year) and weavers recently send two Mlabri children to university with money saved from their work.


A fair-trade certified company, Barber and his staff fulfill orders for consumers and for companies as corporate gifts, and they ship their products wholesale to other outlets. A feature on their website allows people to design their own candle, choosing the fragrance, the strength and the “vessel”—such as a hand-blown glass bowl or a striped earthen pot. Attached to every candle is a picture and a bio of the woman who made it.

Ellie Fun Day’s Organic Baby Blankets Change the Lives of Marginalized Women in India

We’ve seen our fair share of organic baby blankets in our day, but these swaddles from Ellie Fun Day are the latest to steal our hearts. Made with layers of organic muslin cotton, Ellie Fun Day blankets are hand-embroidered by marginalized women in India. The care and love that goes into these simple and elegant blankets is evident: the blankets feature tasteful designs such as dots and dashes, a fox among funky tree designs, or little stars.

Interview: Ellie Fun Day

“I see the work being done with Ellie Fun Day as a way to provide a particular group of talented and hardworking women with a safe and positive work environment. …

Interview: Colectivo 1050

“Ceramics as a craft is an incredibly important aspect of indigenous culture in Mexico….Colectivo 1050 will be successful in Mexico only if we can pass that mission on throughout Mexico …