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young woman in a Wayuu chinchorro surrounded by other women in an Indigenous village

Women leaders build strong, healthy, sustainable communities.  

We believe that investing in women is the most efficient way to invest in a better world. That’s why our focus at One Thread Collective is to train and empower artisans to achieve economic stability. 

Our goal is for our weavers to gain enough of a financial and educational foothold that they don’t need to rely on us—or on any other organization. We support them to have the skills they need to run their own businesses, develop their own community-led projects, and live life according to Wayúu traditions and values. 

Here's how we work:

Removing barriers to economic independence

Removing barriers to economic independence Most Wayuu women do not have a bank account or a smart phone, forcing them to sell their bags to middlemen in the city. Women have to brave long and even dangerous trips from their remote communities to bring their mochilas to market, where they barely break even due to the undervaluing of handwoven goods. This is why One Thread Collective covers all expenses (yarn and materials, transportation, and banking fees) and helps artisans open bank accounts and acquire smart phones.

Fair trade work opportunities for women

Due to the lack of income-earning opportunities, particularly for women, many Wayúu families eat just once a day and do not have consistent access to clean water or basic services. One Thread Collective provides consistent, reliable income at 7X the market rate for more than 100 artisans in seven rural communities.

For many women in our collective, this is the first time they've been able to rely on an ongoing income source.

Skills transfer and leadership training

Every weaving team receives a series of workshops held in their remote communities designed to improve and diversify their weaving skills. A group of women from each team is also invited to participate in the Yalayalaa School for Women's Empowerment and Leadership at our headquarters in Riohacha. This course, run by our partnering organization, Fundación Talento Colectivo, teaches women to design and lead a sustainable development project that will benefit their entire community.

Access to seed capital and micro loans

After graduating from the Yalayalaa School, artisans have the opportunity to present their community project to us for funding. Throughout the year, we earmark 10% of proceeds from the sales of their mochilas to community projects (additional funding is provided by our donors).

One Thread Collective also offers interest-free micro loans that artisans can pay back monthly in increments they choose.

Want to support the work we do?

Consider becoming a monthly sponsor or making a one off donation.


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