In the heart of the Andes mountains, ancient cultures developed weaving techniques passed down for generations. These beautiful items are being sustainably made to this day, using the same natural materials and techniques that have worked for thousands of years. One company, EcuaFina, is now selling these items for everyone in the world to enjoy.
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Their mission is to give weavers in Ecuador the chance to sell their products for a fair price. At the same time, they get to share their work with the world and make these gorgeous items available on a much wider scale.
Environmentally, Ecuador is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Farther back in history, Ecuador was part of the massive and mighty Incan Empire. They were making fashion history as early as the 1700s, when the country became famous for its Panama hats. The straw hats were made in Ecuador and shipped to Panama, where they became popular with work crews building the Panama Canal.
Now, EcuaFina’s product line is made by local weavers living in the Andes. They use ancient techniques for their products, many which are made with alpaca wool. The product line includes sweaters, plaids, hats, jewelry and more.
EcuaFina Founder Rebecca Braak, inspired by these beautiful products, had a different vision for her company. The goal wasn’t to just to provide these products to a larger buying public. It was also to maintain direct contact with the weavers and provide them with a fair wage for their work. As a result, she personally visits Ecuador several times a year. During her stays, she checks on the operations herself, ensuring quality is being maintained, both in how the creators are treated and in how well the products are being made.
Moreover, all materials used to make these products are directly sourced and fairly traded. They are made by the descendants of Indigenous people who have lived in these mountains for many generations. Everything is made according to ancient traditions and techniques honed over time and perfected over the years. You can almost feel the history woven into every item.
When you look at their products, you’ll immediately notice bold, vivid colors, intricate patterns and stunning designs. Additionally, everything feels luxurious. That’s the alpaca wool. Nothing is painted or processed. It’s just pure wool made with natural dyeing techniques.
Furthermore, alpaca wool is softer and more durable than sheep’s wool. When woven into cloth, alpaca wool has little pockets of air. This creates natural breathability that keeps the wool from feeling too hot. The material is also water-resistant and naturally fire-resistant. It’s also a completely sustainable material and totally natural, too.
EcuaFina prides itself on using fair trade practices and maintaining transparency. You have the right to know where the products you buy are coming from. That’s why you can learn more about any product on their website.
Images via EcuaFina