cofounder of rio ethical fashion
Bia Saldanha, carioca, married, mother of 2 children, lives in the State of Acre, in the Brazilian Amazon, where she has worked for 28 years.
Since 2007, she is a collaborator of the French company Veja Fair Trade, working as responsible for the creation and maintenance of the entire productive arrangement with communities and other local economic agents, to supply the native rubber used in the production of the brand's shoes.
She began her career at the age of 18, as a fashion businesswoman, owner of the label Cores Vivas, based in Ipanema.
She was part of the founding group of the Green Party in Brazil, in 1985, and the environmentalist/feminist group Bando de Mulheres, in 1987.
In 1991, in Rio de Janeiro, she founded EcoMercado, first store specialized in ecological products in Brazil.
For 17 years she worked in the development and commercialization of Treetap Amazon Wild Rubber®, a natural latex-coated fabric, produced in native rubber forests, in partnership with rubber tappers' associations, in the states of Amazonas and Acre. Treetap® had as client the French luxury brand Hermés Sellier, who used the rubber material in the manufacture of its –bags, for 6 years, and other brands such as Ralph Loren, Osklen and Natura.
Bia won several national and international awards, among them, the UNDP Equator Initiative Award at Rio + 10, in 2002, in Johanesburg, for her pioneering role in the implementation of fair trade in Brazil.
The story of her life was wrote by the journalist Guilherme Fiúza, (same author of the bestsellers "My Name is not Johnny" and "Giane") in the book "Amazon 20th Floor".