Let’s talk about fabrics and culture


Besides Machu Picchu and ceviche, what else do you think about when you imagine Perú? Probably the answer to that is color and fabrics, so today we’re going to talk about that, with a little extra. Well, a big extra that’s very inspiring. While going for the second time to Perú, I visited one of the projects I liked the most of my whole Faces2Hearts journey. Hilando Culturas is a project implemented by ASPEN and funded by the European Union. With this one, they seek to empower the participants, mostly women,  through economic activities and training in different areas like marketing for their products, design and quality improvement.

Allowing them to become economically independent is, I’d say, their main goal but in the process, a lot of things happen. They don’t just become better professionals, but they become more aware of their rights as women and as producers/sellers. They learn about fair trade and how to organize better to be more productive.

Men and women get together in cooperative businesses, working side by side with the same level of responsibility and the same wage.

And yes, all this is really good but listening to these women while they were telling me their stories I realized this goes beyond training and selling more. A lot of these women have found a purpose in the spaces provided by ASPEN. A lot of them also come from very harsh backgrounds, and these spaces become a safe, happy and productive place for them.

Something I valued a lot of this project is that everything they work (fabrics, paintings, crafts) comes from local resources and knowledge that has been passed by generations. I find this to be a complete package for customers seeking to buy consciously: supports low-income communities, protect the culture, has a low carbon footprint and all that while buying a beautiful product.

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