|by Kiki Cokorinos, Marketing & Communications Intern
1. Every piece tells a story
No two pieces are exactly alike – and we like it that way. That’s what happens when we start with hand-spun threads; at every stage of a product’s life our artisans add their personal touches. This makes every piece as unique as the woman who made it.
2. Support our artisans, help their communities
Awamaki’s goal is to provide the women of our cooperatives with access to global markets as one method of promoting development. With a substantial and consistent source of income, our artisans feel more empowered to make decisions in their homes and contribute to their communities in ways that may not be possible otherwise. The women of our cooperatives most often spend their income on their children’s education, making improvements to their homes, and purchasing healthy food for their families.
3. Help traditional folk art make a comeback
Over the past 50 years, the convenience and availability of artificial dyes have started to replace the traditional methods in Andean textiles. Today, Awamaki sponsors workshops to re-teach the women of our cooperatives the natural dying techniques of the region. Such techniques help keep the textile heritage of the Andes alive, producing the most beautiful, authentic pieces. Then, Awamaki gives these traditional textiles a modern twist. With the guidance of our design team, our local seamstresses turn the raw textiles we purchase from cooperatives into fashionable and functional products.
4. We’re not just a middleman
Day-to-day operations at Awamaki are run on the ground in Ollantaytambo, Peru, where all five of our cooperatives are just a short car ride away. Consistent interaction with all of our artisans makes it easy for Awamaki staff to keep tabs on what is working (and not working) for our cooperatives. This close collaboration is the best way to ensure that our artisans are getting the support they need. Complete with industry and leadership training, we structure these partnerships so that our cooperatives can one day function as independent businesses.
5. You can be confident in our certified Fair Trade products
Awamaki is certified Fair Trade by the Fair Trade Federation. Awamaki is regularly vetted to ensure we are in compliance with the FTF Membership Requirements. We renew our membership annually and are subject to random reevaluation. And check out our sustainable tour reviews on TripAdvisor! We consistently receive Certificates of Excellence and we’re rated #1 in the Top Tours and Activities in Ollantaytambo.