Big Hello and Happy New Year from our crew over here in Huaycan, Peru!
As we welcome in the new decade, we’d also like to welcome the opportunity to set our intentions for the year to come. We’re reflecting back on our last few years of experience, so that we can set specific resolutions, and move forward with clarity.
Over the next year you’re going to hear us use the word transparency A LOT, and that’s because it’s a key pillar when it comes to being an ethical brand. As a customer, you deserve honesty and to know that you can trust where you’re buying your clothes and accessories.
So that’s exactly how we intend to start off the year: Openly, honestly, and by sharing our goals for the year to come. As an ethical clothing company, we’re dedicated to doing what we can to help support the community through providing income for our seven artisan partners and funneling any profits back into the Women’s Program. By speaking up about our resolutions, we’re holding ourselves accountable. Without further ado, here are Huaywasi’s 2020 Resolutions:
In 2020 we'll increase our transparency (our buzzword of the year!).
We told you you’d be hearing this word from us a lot. We’re setting this as our top 2020 Resolution, because we think it’s integral that everything stems from honesty. Being radically honest takes courage, and it takes admitting that as an ethical company we aren’t perfect, but we are trying (hence the resolution plan!).
We think our customers deserve to hear the backstory behind the fashion. And let’s be real, knowing the name of the person that created your new t-shirt is a cool thing! It’s even cooler knowing that person was treated fairly (and with respect) throughout the entire process of creating it. That’s what we’re all about at Huaywasi.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming February blog post where we do a deep dive into our business practices, shipping policies, and where your money specifically is going when you buy a Huaywasi product.
We’ll be a dependable partner to our artisans by providing consistent, ongoing work.
Huaywasi is made up of seven artisans, each with their own unique skill set.
Elena is a master seamstress specializing in sweatshirts, while our other seamstress Guillermina focuses on tanks and dresses. Herminia handles much of our yoga accessories as well as anything involving tela andina, while her sister Daria is an expert loomer who creates her own specialized collections.Our knitters Alejandra and Nelida also share embroidery talents, while Saida handles all of our beautiful ceramic creations.
While our customers may not need a beanie or a Christmas tree ornament in July, it’s important that we aren’t simply offering seasonal work. These women are the creative core of Huaywasi, and they deserve financial stability for themselves and their families. We’ve determined two initiatives that will ensure artisans have steady work throughout the entire year.
Firstly, by creating a forecasting calendar, it will give us a better idea of project distribution and will show us which artisans have gaps in their production schedule. It will also give the artisans an idea of what to look forward to in upcoming projects. Secondly, we’re currently on the hunt for wholesale clients that are interested in carrying our products year round, which would help ensure consistent work for artisans.
Get in touch if you if you’d like to work with us, and be a part of our resolution plan.
We’ll continue upcycling and recycling old designs and fabrics, so that we can minimize our waste.
Hey, let’s be real. Not all products do as well as others, but that doesn’t mean they’re a lost cause. Did you know, every season we feature one upcycled product? Last Spring/Summer it was our little suede number, The Carina Tank, while this Fall/Winter we incorporated suede again to complete the Chan Chan Wristlet (which we’re happy to say sold out!).
Our goal is to reduce our fabric waste by altering past designs so that none of our pieces don’t end up in the trash. In 2020 we’ll continue with this tradition of reworking pieces and fabrics!
We’re dedicated to continued learning & spreading awareness.
As an ethical brand, we’re activists doing our part to change the way people think about clothing. The fashion industry has set some pretty toxic standards (both for our environment and for the people involved in the production process), and consumers have picked up on that. With a recent push from consumers, companies have been forced to move towards more sustainable and fair practices. That’s an applause-worthy shift.
At Huaywasi, we want to serve as an example within our industry and that means continued research, staying up to date and adapting when needed. This year we’re going to be LOUDER about what we’re learning, so you can expect to hear from us regularly.
We’re all about continued learning, staying up to date, and staying flexible and so we understand that we can always do better. Follow us on Instagram & Facebook and Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter to get the latest in industry trends and all things ethical fashion related.
We’ll be better at talking about mental health in the workplace.
Mental Health can be a tricky topic of conversation, especially in parts of the world (such as Huaycan) where it isn’t widely discussed. It's difficult to know the boundaries between personal and professional life, when your personal life so often greatly affects how you do at work.
Here at Huaywasi, we’re striving to create a safe space where the ladies feel comfortable enough to open up about both their personal and professional challenges.
It takes courage to open up about what you need and what stresses you out, but it’s important to us that we receive regular feedback about how we can be more supportive. We love chatting with the artisans, and we’ve got an open door policy, but we’re also beginning to ask artisans specific questions related to their stress level and what they would like to take on in terms of work loads and new designs.
We’re looking to source more sustainable fabrics from trusted manufacturers
Gamarra is one of the biggest textile markets in South America. It’s a wild and colourful landscape filled with every kind of pattern and fabric your heart desires, and boy is it ever a maze. It’s so massive there are posts up on YouTube offering a “ How To” on Gamarra. While the variety is incomparable, the quality and the sources of the material can be unreliable.
Ultimately, we want to know that the fabrics we’re using are ethically and (ideally) locally produced. Since Peru has such an abundance of natural resources, we’re hoping to eliminate the necessity to buy fabrics that have been shipped from overseas markets to Gamarra. We’re hoping to get in touch with local factories so that we can produce high quality clothing using local resources.
We’d like to begin to offer more personalized & customized pieces to wholesale clients.
In the upcoming year we’re excited to start offering customized pieces to interested wholesalers. That means, if you’re interested in buying in bulk we’d be happy to work with you to help personalize a piece for you and your shop. By offering this new service we’re ensuring that there’s no product wastage and that we’re providing reliable work for our artisans.
Keep an eye out on our website for our Wholesale Form in the upcoming months! (and email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for requests now :) )
We’re excited to take action on our resolutions as the year progresses and look forward to keeping our Huaywasi customers updated and part of the conversation. If you have any feedback on ways we can improve or other companies think serve as good guides in the ethical movement, we’d love to continue the conversation in the comments below!
Writers & Contributors: Julie James & Jillian Schneider