Mar Y Sol is a socially responsible accessories brand that collaborates with artists in New York and artisans in Madagascar. The company designs and creates authentic accessories made by hand using natural materials sourced sustainably from Madagascar’s precious forests. The sale of Mar Y Sol products enables families to gain economic independence and promotes environmental conservation. This is achieved through fair trade partnerships with artisans who make a living wage through our “trade not aid” business model.
Laurel Brandstetter launched Mar Y Sol, formerly Mad Imports, in 2003 as an outgrowth of a Madagascar-based community development project. While cultivating relationships with artisans in Madagascar she partnered with fashion designers and other creators in New York City to develop an inspired collection that celebrates Madagascar’s unique raw materials and incomparable craftsmanship. This cross cultural design process resulted in a brand that is recognized for its vibrant sensibility and imaginative use of materials, color and texture. Mar Y Sol’s products have since been featured in dozens of fashion magazines and are available in boutiques, specialty retailers and department stores around the globe.
Despite measured economic progress over the last decade, Madagascar experienced a political coup in 2009 that continues to threaten the livelihood of its people, the conservation of its forests and the unique product that Mar Y Sol and our artisan partners bring to the world. Mar Y Sol maintains its commitment to our partners and the beautiful product we want to share with you.