Francesca Kennedy strives to make difference in Guatemala with fashion

When Francesca Kennedy went to visit her family in Guatemala in 2010, she was taken aback by what she found— the lake she was baptized in, Lake Atitlan, had been overrun with blue green algae; Kennedy comparing it to “sewage” water. NASA even deemed it to be one of the world’s worst natural disasters being able to see the contamination from space.

After Francesca saw young girls collecting the contaminated water for their households, she felt she had to do something so she founded Ix Style, a fashion company that produces hurrache sandals in collaboration with Mayan Artists.

Ix Style
Francesca Kennedy

With every purchase made, clean drinking water filters are given back to the community. With its meaningful—yet stylish—mission, Ix has partnered with brands like J.Crew, The Gap, Anthropologie, among others.

Recently, the young Latina entrepreneur appeared on Project Runway: Fashion Startup, where she secured $150,000 from Rebecca Minkoff, Birchbox, and Gary Wassner. Kennedy will now be releasing five designs with Rebecaa Minkoff in the spring of 2017. Be sure to watch the video above for an exclusive look at this exciting collaboration and learn more about the eco-conscious brand.

This article originally appeared on People en Español CHICA.

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