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Fashion Management Students Interning With Women-Led Organizations in Bolivia

Following her work with the Bolivian Chambers of Commerce CAMEBOL during pre-Covid “Leave4Change” volunteering, Fashion Management program coordinator, Rossie Kadiyska, brought contacts and project ideas to build WIL opportunities for Humber fashion students. This idea finally came to fruition and three fashion management students (Renata Comin, Bhaswati Saikia, and Emily Ip) are doing their WIL hours this summer with women-led Bolivian companies specializing in luxury raw materials - vicuña and lama. Those companies are the suppliers of raw materials and fibers and also manufacturers of reputable high-end fashion brands.

For our readers’ information, vicuña is wool worth more than gold. Products made from the fleece of vicuña have been a symbol of ultimate luxury. A kilo of vicuña is worth six times more than cashmere. This natural material is seen as the way for bringing more sustainable clothing to the market. The Italian label Loro Piana has the dominant share of the market, but Ermenegildo Zegna and Kering-owned Brioni have been independently sourcing in the area.

Our fashion students are the first ones to establish stronger connections with original suppliers and make inroads in this distant part of the fashion supply chain.

Thank you to Bruce Sinclair, Rebecca Fitzgerald, Antonietta Di Marco, and Michelle Krivacic for supporting the initiative and making it happen. Tune in for students’ stories at the end of the 3 months internships.

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