About Team Chile
Meet Team Chile, a team comprised of three artisan cooperatives working around the capital city of Santiago: small groups with a total of 12 artisans. We started working with Team Chile in 2016, when Joy lived in Chile for 6 months to work directly with artisans. Team Chile specializes in copper jewelry production, using age old copper forging techniques to produce modern and edgy pieces. The jewelry market is huge in Chile, but most jewelry makers work outside the formal economy, meaning they make even lower than minimum wage. Team Chile acts as a facilitator for independent artisans, helping marginalized workers enter the formal economy and earn fair wages.
Team Chile works primarily with natural resources like copper, brass and semi-precious stones. These materials are historically significant, because Spanish colonizers exploited Chilean natural resources for hundreds of years. Team Chile reverses that narrative by bringing traditional copper forging techniques to the fair trade market, ensuring that the profits from local resources are invested back in the community.
How We Support Team Chile
We support Team Chile by helping them employ more women, earn higher wages and reach new customers.
- We commit to long term, reliable trade agreements that allow cooperatives to hire more women and make proactive business decisions. Team Chile can count on us to place continuous orders at consistent prices, and that trust results in more jobs and more job security for women.
- We recognize the difference between living wage and minimum wage, and we pay our artisans more than 3x the minimum wage in Chile. The minimum wage in Chile is 8,800 Chliean pesos per day ($13.50 USD/day). Our Chilean artisans are paid per piece, as there are very few people actually making the products (unlike most of the other cooperatives we work with). They can make about $155,000 Chilean pesos per day when they are working on our orders, the equivalent of $233 USD/day.
Product Spotlight: Ana Drop Earrings
Most times, we work with our artisan partners to create beautiful fair trade designs that our customers will adore. This time, however, we spotted the Ana Drop Earrings and immediately fell in love! These earrings are made of 100% brass, about 2.5" long and require no rubber backing. This ethical jewelry masterpiece is made by artisan Ana in Chile. She’s one of the few female artisans who does metal work, as most of this sort of work is done by men. She cuts the pieces of bronze, uses metal stamps to texture the piece, sands down the edges, and finishes them off. It’s amazing how much work goes into each pair of these - handmade jewelry for women, you can be proud to wear!
Artisan Spotlight: Ana
Ana is one of our super-talented and mega-fierce artisans in Santiago, Chile. She has overcome all odds to become the amazing artisan she is today. She makes jewelry in her home, working primarily with brass and copper. She started making jewelry because her physical disability limited her from working in factory jobs, where most women work. She couldn't stand up for the required long hours. She knew she needed to be earning an income, however, especially to take care of her mother as she became older and ill. Ana is one of few women in Chile who does this work, and she sure is good at it!