Jasmine Aarons fashion designer « VOZ employs 60 Mapuche female artisans in southern Chile » !
Bio Xpress :
Jasmine Aarons is the founder and CEO of VOZ, an ethical luxury fashion company whose mission is to protect the livelihoods and culture of indigenous rural woman in South America. As the Design Director & CEO Jasmine steers VOZ’s creative vision, product development, and international operations. A graduate of Stanford University in mechanical engineering and product design, Jasmine recognized that there is a societal need for an alternative to the increasingly commercial focus of design. In particular, her experience in studying the product design concepts pursued in Silicon Valley fueled her belief that greater integration of sustainable methods of design and production are needed. Jasmine believes that sustainable, ethical product design can solve many consequences of global mass consumerism by incorporating lessons of indigenous craft. After studying the designs of Peruvian Qu’ero shamans, Jasmine realized that many traditional artisans struggled to compete within saturated craft marketplaces, often filled with foreignmade copies of traditional artwork sold at knockoff prices. Observing that products sell for style and quality over their social message, she founded VOZ to bring the marketability of fashion to fair trade. Jasmine wanted to offer design tools to help artisans create unique products that allow them to profit in contemporary marketplaces. Jasmine partnered with a community of Mapuche artisans in Southern Chile over three years to develop the VOZ model, based on extensive research and insights about their culture and art forms. The result: the creation of a collaborative design workshop model in which designers help develop artisan’s ideas into final products, and through this collaboration, bring to life a new type of social business model. Founded in 2012, VOZ’s business model is grounded in the concept of cultural exchange, in which traditional design and sustainable production methods of indigenous peoples are integrated with modern marketing and distribution know-how. VOZ apparel is produced in ways that respect the environment, provides sustainable fair trade incomes to artisans, and facilitates human connection in its trade, providing an alternative model for fashion in today’s rapid consumption culture.