beyondBeanie (bB) is a social clothing brand based in Switzerland that sells wearable accessories inspired by Bolivian ethnic culture.
Every product sold helps street and orphan children. Example: 1 hat = 5 meals, 1 bag = 1 set of school supplies, 1 bracelet = help with dental care, 1 poncho = 1 school uniform.
In addition, every product is hand signed by the artisan who made it, whom clients can meet and greet at our site.
The beautiful quality of the products is thanks to the personal touch and creativity of a group of talented Bolivian female artisans in the areas of La Paz and Cochabamba. A unique aspect of bB is each item is special.
Carrying its artisan’s hand signature to enable her a sense of identity, confidence and self-worth—three aspects in which Paty experienced these women struggle with daily due to various circumstances. In turn, this imprint allows consumers to discover her story via our website (http://beyondbeanie.org/pages/artisans), and thus encourage conscious fashion.
The current beyondBeanie product line incorporates classic as well as vibrant and colorful products, appealing to both gals and guys.
A variety of summer and winter beanies for men and women, from which we can highlight:
Since its inception, beyondBeanie has been featured and cited by a number of magazines, newspapers and blogs all around the world, as well as by Microsoft.
In addition, beyondBeanie was recognized the most socially innovative project at SIGEF awards 2014 edition, event at which it won the first prize (media coverage + 8,000 CHF).
Also, co-founders Hector and Paty have been invited to give a of presentation about to talk about their brand at various venues, including at TEDx Zurich, University of Lausanne, University of Geneva, EPFL's Innovation Forum, University of St. Gallen, Webster University Geneva branch, HUB Zurich, Startup Weekend Luzern and videoconference presentations with Universidad San Miguel in Mexico, and Universidad de Deusto in Spain.
Furthermore, Hector Alvarez has served as mentor at the Collaborate for Social Impact Challenge 2014 edition, at which “Women of Gioto”, the team that he lead, has won a cash prize for the proposed to solution to alleviate poverty at the garbage dump where these women live.
beyondBeanie was co-founded by Hector Alvarez and Paty Lucero in March 2013. The company was the result of a backpacking trip that Hector did to Bolivia to visit Paty. Together, they discovered the beauty in the rich and colorful textures of Bolivia. They also witnessed the harsh reality of severe poverty in Bolivia, with an estimated 2/3 of its population living below the poverty line (http://www.wfp.org/countries/bolivia/overview).
Using an awareness of both the beauty and the not-so-pretty, Hector and Paty dedicated themselves to combine their expertise in business and design to create a fashion line to represent the colourful spirit of Bolivia that would tackle two key social components of beyondBeanie:
1) To create meaningful work for female artisans in a place that recognizes and respects them
2) To provide meals, school supplies, and school uniforms to impoverished children
About Hector Alvarez
Hector is a Swiss-Chilean entrepreneur; co-founder and business developer of social clothing venture beyondBeanie.org. Born and raised in Chile, Hector left his country after his secondary education to go study Business Administration at California State University Fullerton in the USA.
During his studies, Hector had already started a successful part-time photography business, which he then continued to develop as a full-time enterprise after graduation. Years later, Hector got married to a his high-school sweetheart, a Swiss National and left California to move to Lausanne, where he completed a Master in Management at HEC Lausanne and city which he uses as base of operations to grow his social enterprise.
About Paty Lucero
Patricia Lucero is a Bolivian architect and social entrepreneur, co-founder and Project Manager of beyondBeanie.org, a social enterprise that for every item sold helps children in need in Bolivia. Interested by the art of drawing and planning, Paty decided to study Architecture and Interior Design at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón in Bolivia. In search for ways to further her professional career, Paty left her home country to go to the USA, where besides her professional experience, she also became an active volunteer member of the Arthritis Foundation.
Once back in Bolivia to restart her profession, Paty also came back with a more critical eye about the social issues that affect the people of her country. Willing to do something about this, she decided to put her professional career on hold and venture herself into starting beyondBeanie.
At beyondBeanie, we are always eager to hear from our friends. For press inquiries, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or by calling +41 (0) 76 822 1498 (Switzerland)
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