Have you ever wanted a more personal connection between the goods you buy and the artisans who made them? This is a bond that humans have shared for hundreds, even thousands of years as handmade items crafted in homes and villages are purchased by appreciative buyers who need them. All the care and attention that went into the crafting is transferred in sentiment to the person who buys it, and the money paid goes back to supporting the families of the artisans. Back in the days when everyone went to the street markets to buy and sell, you could look an artisan in the eye, tell them how beautiful their items are, and see the joy on their faces when you choose one of their wonderful products.
So much of this is lost in modern commerce that most people don’t even realize what they’re missing, but we do. Here at Creatdby, we have recognized in ourselves a craving for that personal connection with artisans and have worked hard to bring that bond back to the world through a thoughtful selection of sources for our lovingly handmade products. We choose each one of our artisans carefully and for very good reasons. Today we’re here to share with you the story of one of our favorite artisans, Threads of Peru, an organization that supports traditional Peruvian weaving and culture.
Tradition is still an incredibly important part of life in the high Andes of Peru. It’s only natural, their mountainous home makes for a very remote location with a unique and vibrant culture. Because their location is so challenging to reach, the invasion of modern ‘western’ culture has had a less profound effect on the area, allowing the Peruvians to maintain much more of their native culture, but this also means that the copious job opportunities that come with modern society are also quite distant. In order to work close to home, the residents of the high Andes turn back to traditional pursuits like weaving and agriculture in order to support themselves and keep the Quechua spirit alive.
The tradition of weaving soft alpaca wool into beautiful ponchos, scarves, and vibrant clothing has existed in Peru for over 5,000 years in villages and communities stretching from the coast cities of Paracas and Nazaca to the high Andean peaks. Many Peruvians still live in the traditional ways, speaking their native Quechua language and learning the cultural trades passed down generation after generation. Alpaca herding and back-strap weaving their wonderful wool has supported families and created garments for the residents of the high Andes for thousands of years and continues to do so. Threads of Peru simply seeks to support these traditions and ensure that they remain financially valuable to the artisan women and families that dedicate their time and talents to these pursuits.
Through their business model and partners, the primary goal of Threads of Peru is to improve the lives of female artisans and their families. They have found that when women receive their own income, rather than solely relying on the jobs of their husbands, the health and well-being of the family’s children improve at a much faster rate. Unfortunately, there is a very limited access to education and economic opportunities for women in the high Andes other than pursuing their traditional crafts, and without help, these items would only sell to a limited local market. That’s where Threads of Peru comes in.
Our Artisan partner realized that they could make an enormous difference to the villages and communities of the high Andes simply by creating an international market for the beautiful alpaca woven items already being created in local homes and shops, they could provide a reliable and rewarding source of income for the traditional weavers of Peru and, in effect, improve the lives of women, children, and families across the country. The best part about this enterprise is that it provides opportunities for income and growth without forcing any unnatural change on the native culture of the artisans involved, something we are incredibly proud of.
However, Threads of Peru doesn’t stop at marketing the woven garments of the native Peruvian artisans, they also serve as a cultural hub, educational resource, and sales platform for anyone who wants to learn about and continue the Quechuan tradition of weaving. Their primary mission is to reach global citizens and communicate the importance of socially conscious investment.
When you buy natural alpaca wool garments and other textile items from Threads of Peru, you are putting money directly into the pockets of the native Peruvian artisans, money that will go toward improving their quality of life, supporting their children, and expanding their economic opportunities. Here at Creatdby, we want every buying experience to be this amazingly rewarding and socially conscious because we, too crave that almost lost connection between buyers and artisans. Every time we get a thank-you email from a local artisan or village, our hearts get tingly warm and we want to pass on this feeling to you, our customers. That’s why we choose our vendors so carefully and you’ll never ever see a ‘made in china’ sticker on one of our products. Threads of Peru more than makes the grade with lovingly handcrafted wool fabrics in simply stunning colors and patterns. If you want naturally woven and dyed wool products that will warm your body and your heart when you wear them, you can always rely on Threads of Peru.