She is a defender of the forests in the Amazon against deforestation and illegal logging to extract latex from of Shiringa trees. Latex is often used to craft a multitude of products including in-trend clothing and accessories.

Maria has created a business selling handcrafted and sewn products such as handbags, backpacks, waterproof layers, uniforms, in a way that extracts latex from trees ethically without further destroying the Amazon. Maria crafts her products using a material called “vegetable leather” which is made with natural latex and cotton that has the same look and texture as animal leather.

In Maria’s workshop, a piece of newspaper hangs on the wall from the Artisan’s Association of Shiringa de Iberia. The articles describes very fashionable handbags made from “vegetable leather,” shown during a fashion show at the Salon de la Mode Ética in Paris. Although the women who craft the handbags don’t know a lot about today’s trends, they know extensively about hard work and the material they are crafting with.

Not For Sale admires Maria for creating a business that is socially and environmentally ethical and we continue to be inspired by her efforts to provide products that preserve and keep beautiful the world around her. #SheInspiresMe