THREADS OF PERU
Threads of Peru is a not-for-profit social enterprise that connects the world to handmade treasures of the Andes, helping to strengthen ancient craft techniques and empower artisans. We had the honor of visiting the Indigenous Artisans in early 2017 to learn about these core values that we aim to practice each and every day as well.
PRESERVE CULTURAL TRADITIONS
The tradition of weaving stretches back through 5,000 years of history in Peru, from the coastal cities of Paracas and Nazca to the high Andean peaks of Cusco and Ayacucho. It is an ancient practice that was once invaluable to survival and social hierarchy. Still today, back-strap weaving is an incredibly important component of identity in the high Andes, as much as traditional alpaca herding and the native Quechua language.
Threads of Peru seeks to alleviate poverty and revitalize cultural traditions in rural indigenous communities by providing sustainable markets for their fine textiles. Their committed to using natural fibers, natural dyes, and back-strap weaving only found in these local communities. They are dedicated to making these traditions economically viable to inspire young Quechua men and women to take pride in their cultural heritage – in weaving, in speaking Quechua and in living their native communities – and pass it along for centuries to come.
EMPOWER INDIGENOUS ARTISANS
When women receive their own income, the health and well-being of their children improves at a much faster rate than when men have sole control of the family’s income. With little or no access to education, however, and few available economic opportunities close to home, the vast majority of women in the high Andes are still entirely reliant on their husbands. By marketing the work produced by weavers in these communities, Threads of Peru is providing an opportunity for women to earn an income while continuing to live a traditional lifestyle and care for their children.
All Threads of Peru artisans work freely in their home communities, with comfortable production time frames and frequent quality control support. Textiles are then purchased up-front and fairly, above market price, from each individual. In addition to increased economic sustainability, Threads of Peru empowers indigenous artisans to achieve greater independence and to think toward brighter futures for themselves and their families.
The overall mission and model of Threads of Peru is concretized in reaching global citizens and communicating the importance of socially conscious investment.
It is a mutually beneficial exchange. Their goal is to connect consumers with artisan communities and to educate them on the ancient component of world culture, while indigenous artisans receive support from people around the world who recognize and value their work. It is an invaluable contribution to revitalizing and taking pride in Quechua culture, all the while creating inroads towards a truly equitable and inclusive society in Peru.