As an internet marketing company in Vancouver, you don’t often come across a project that actually tries to make the world a better place, but I think I have found one. Sumaq Rugs is a company based in Vancouver that sells custom alpaca rugs from Peru. The thing that makes them unique is that the rugs are made the traditional way by using looms and 5% of every sale goes directly back into the weavers community.
When I talked to the owner’s Collis Verdicchio and Derek Beech, I asked them how they work the logistics of finding these families. They said that it was difficult finding Peruvian families with looms because only the wealthier families could afford them. There are no large manufacture plants for these rugs to be produced in, as they are all produced in family run workshops. Sumaq’s program is designed to increase the number of looms in each village. However, this would seem like a good business investment if it wasn’t for the fact that they pay “living wages”. This means that all the weavers are paid fare prices which allows them to provide for their families.
Another factor that makes this program a real success is the fact that it allows families to stay together. If these weavers didn’t have their own workshops they would be forced to leave their families and work at low paying manufacturing jobs in the large cities.
Getting back to the internet marketing side of things, for this project we are pushing social media, article submissions with a small PPC campaign to try to get the word out about this awesome socially conscious company. I have only just begun on this project but I will keep everyone posted on their progress.