Awamaki is a Peruvian non-profit organization, committed to working with Quechua women weavers based in the district of Ollantaytambo. In its Awamaki Lab fashion design residency—allowing up-and-coming fashion designers to create a sustainable capsule collection with its weavers– the Awamaki project is committed to revitalizing the weaving tradition and creating a place for it in this modern economy, as well as improving the well-being of the weavers, their families, and their communities. The first design collaboration was released in January, featuring the designs of Paris fashion student Nieli Vallin (pictures below):
The weavers use backstrap looms, which the Quechua women are able to roll up and take with them as they care for their herds of alpaca, sheep, and llama. Using the backstrap loom produces a double faced weaving in which the pattern is the same on both sides, but the colors are reversed. The fibers they weave come from their own herds of alpaca and sheep, with coarse llama fiber for items like sacks and horse blankets. The yarn is naturally dyed using native plants and insects.
Profits made from the sale of the weavings are reinvested into the project and the community. The profits provide an education to school-age weavers, an emergency expenses fund for the women and their children, and funding field-trips and capacity-building workshops.
For more information about the Awamaki Lab project, you can visit their website and even purchase some of the women’s designs! Let PeaceKeeper know if you give this non-profit your own Kiss of Approval by leaving a comment below!
The PeaceKeeper Team
(Writer: Renee Estey. Editor: Jessica Smith.
For more information about PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics, visit www.iamapeacekeeper.com.)