The Root Collective is a true example of passion-driven business. After 12+ years in the marketing world, from a tech start-up to a Fortune 500 company, The Root Collective Founder Bethany Tran found herself unfulfilled and looking for purpose.

When visiting Guatemala about ten years ago, Bethany noticed that many nonprofits were focusing on providing education, rather than jobs, as a way of fighting the poverty crisis.

The Root Collective

“If you’re educating these kids but there’s no jobs after they graduate, nothing has changed. So, I was really wondering if we’ve been going about this backwards,” said Bethany

And so, she started The Root Collective as a way to minimize poverty in Guatemala by teaching a trade and providing job opportunities to those experiencing unemployment. The Root Collective offers optimal working conditions and more-than-fair wages to their workers. Those that are employed through them are taught the skill of shoemaking—either weaving the fabric that covers the shoe or assembling the pair themselves—and are provided with a valuable skill that offers stable employment.

In addition to offering fair wages and working conditions, The Root Collective is pursuing more sustainable practices in their business. They currently package all of their shoes in simple, eco-friendly packaging, but hope to increase their efforts by sourcing local, organic cotton and natural dyes for their weavings.

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