Mexico’s biggest garbage dump lies in the outskirts of Mexico City. In the nearby sunny offices of MITZ, a group of female artisans — many who once relied on the landfill for survival — are putting the trash to good use.
MITZ, from the ancient Nahuatl word meaning “for you,” is a nonprofit organization benefitting local female artisans who use industrial waste packaging, like our candy wrappers, to create fun, colorful products including handbags, wallets, notebooks and key rings. You can buy the one-of-a-kind items on MITZ’s website and in boutiques around the world, including our M&M’S® stores in London, New York City, Las Vegas, and most recently in Shanghai.
One artisan, Gaby, says she was really struggling before she began her work with MITZ. “The opportunity has brought me enormous personal development,” she says, “including the chance to be independent, and find great women and friends who also want to pursue their dreams. Now I value myself. I own myself. I love being part of MITZ.”
The women of MITZ are working to “tejer un porvenir” — “weave a future.”
Judy Romano de Achar founded MITZ in 2003 and we joined two years later to offer financial backing and exposure through international marketing. “The relationship between Mars and MITZ is an incredible example of what the union of wills from different sectors can achieve in the face of social challenge,” Judy says.
Profits from the handcraft sales fund scholarships at a local Montessori school for the artisans’ children. Thanks to their success, MITZ has granted 4,875 scholarships worth $139,000 to children from impoverished families living in the marginalized community of Palo Solo ravine.
“We’re recycling our packaging while we help improve the quality of life for many women and their families. It’s a win-win equation. Projects like this make me deeply proud to work at Mars.”
— Paulina Ruiz Lang, External Communication Manager, Mars Wrigley Mexico
All our operations in Mexico at Mars Wrigley and Mars Petcare collect excess packaging, which MITZ uses as raw materials to “upcycle” their creations. The project won an Energy Globe Award recently for being an “environmental changemaker” dedicated to helping save our planet.
Our collaboration is living proof that demonstrates how The Five Principles in action help the communities where we live and work. At Mars and MITZ, we’re convinced that working as a team to achieve better moments makes the world smile.
“Through collective impact we’re able to transform the lives of others,” Judy says. “Let's continue giving more women the opportunity to dignify their lives and those of their families through education, empowerment and caring for the planet.”