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What started as an academic project for founder Amanda Judge has quickly evolved into a full-fledged, selfless business. Partnering with more than 65 artisans across Ecuador, the Andean Collection not only betters the lives of local crafters, but it also uses natural materials harvested from South American rainforests to make beautiful jewelry, inside and out. The La Floresta Necklace features naturally shaped tagua nut chips linked together. Give yourself a hug—this is one purchase you never have to feel guilty about.
After conducting research for her Master’s thesis on poverty reduction in South America, Amanda Judge concluded that jewelry making played a crucial role in economic stability. In 2008, Judge’s findings evolved into the business model for the Andean Collection, a fair-trade brand that works with Ecuadorian artisans to create covetable baubles for the global market.