A LABOR OF LOVE
ALMA is a brand from El Salvador dedicated to creating ethical and sustainable accessories and homeware with 100% recycled plastic thread. Made by hand from start to finish, each piece is handwoven with love by artisans and students using locally sourced resources and renewable materials in a fair trade environment. The mission is to create opportunities and economic development through joyful handmade accessories while supporting the artisans that weave our products and the traditions and techniques used to create them. Upcycling human potential through education by granting young students a university scholarship and providing safe working conditions to the artisans is their purpose. For the ALMA family, sustainability is achieving a balance between social, environmental and economic impact while leaving a legacy for future generations with a commitment to the planet and to communities.
Established in 2015 by Maria Elena Padilla, Creative Director, and her sister-in-law, Alesandra Tona, ALMA is a woman-owned company, proud of the impact its work has on the people, communities and the environment while operating with transparency to promote positive social practices. The word ALMA is born from the union of the first two letters of the names of the Co-founders, Alessandra (AL) and Maria Elena (MA), that have always believed that everything must be done with soul and love. Born into a strong family unity, they transmitted the foundation of unity into the brand and today ALMA is a family. Art, design, sustainability, and education have always been part of their lives. It was a chance meeting with a young students that changed their lives and when they found their purpose. While they were looking to put into practice their passion to build a triple impact venture, they met Jose, who became their inspiration. Jose traveled long distances to attend university and work, he frequently had to drop out of school to get temporary jobs, all to achieve his dream of one day being a Spanish teacher in Paris. This chance meeting with Jose sparked the idea to develop an educational program for the youth in El Salvador that offers scholarships for students of low-income families.
SUSTAINABILITY AT THE CORE
The brand's philosophy is to transform human potential and give new life to plastic waste, through the creation of products that are also made from artisanal techniques and recycled plastic threads. The accessories are 100% recyclable and 80% of its raw materials come from sustainable sources contributing to recycle the equivalent to approximately 45,000 bottle caps a year. ALMA develops local partnerships to reduce plastic waste in El Salvador, having and impact on energy consumption and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle. Approximately 150 plastic bottle caps are recycled to create the raw material to weave one of our totes. ALMA offers artisans fair wages and a stable production flow and 18 artisan family members have been impacted by the project representing 45% of their monthly income. “Sustainability is our DNA. We believe that circular economy can reduce dramatically the impact on natural resources’ consumption. We use recycled plastic threads (both PCR and PIR) as our primary source of raw material,” says Maria Elena Padilla, Co-founder and Creative Director. With this circular fashion model, they have managed to weave opportunities for students and provide constant production for artisans..