MEET OUR KNITTERS
We celebrate artisanal craftmanship. We believe that the clothes we wear shouldn’t negatively impact our world.
We currently work with two groups of knitters within Peru. One located in Puno (in the Andean high plateau) and the other group in Lima.
We only use natural and sustainable fibers such as Alpaca. Producing Alpaca clothing consumes very little or zero energy. With proper love and care, they can be worn for years reducing the demand for new clothes being produced.
In 2015 we began supporting Suri Paqocha, as small company owned by a cooperative of Alpaca sheperds in the Nuñoa district in Puno. These Alpaca shepherds have recommenced breeding natural coloured Suri alpacas, which have long and a high quality fiber. They sheer and hand-spin Alpaca fleece and they also knit the garments. Mrs. Susana Añamuro has been our contact and we have been buying their shawls at a fair price since 2015. Our Suri Shawls have been hand-knitted by this small community-run cooperative.
All the photos below were taken by photojournalist Kiko Castro-Mendivil in different communities near Nuñoa, such as Lampa and Larakeri. His work introduced me to these communities and inspired me to support this communities.
We also work with a small group of female knitters in Lima who originate from different areas of the Peruvian Andes. Their stories are as amazing and inspiring as the garments they knit. Here is a little insight into their lives:
Name: Flora Francisca Velásquez Pichihua
Origin: Cusco (Peruvian Highlands)
About her: Single mum, she lives with her 3 children. She learnt to knit when she was a little her using match sticks and cactus spines. When she moved to Lima at age 19, she studied knitting and all its different techniques (crochet, sticks, etc.) and a little bit of sewing. Now she is the lead knitter of the group of 6 knitters. She feels happy and blessed for the opportunity of working in her biggest passion, knitting.
Name: Benancia Soto
Origin: Department of Ancash, Huachis district.
About her: Her older sister taught her how to knit. She joined Flora’s knitting group through her sister and she feels happy working with her. She also knows how to spin and embroider.
Name: Zoraida Ines Palacios
Origin: Department of Ancash, Recuay Province, Cantu village.
About her: She lives with her husband and has 5 children. She learnt how to knit since she was a little girl just by watching other ladies. This is her first job as a knitter. She is happy to have an income by working with Flora and the other knitters. She is keen to learn more about knitting with sticks.
Name: María Sara Acosta
Origin: Department of Cajamarca. Cajabamba
About her: She lives with her husband and 3 children.
She learnt how to knit at school and later she formally learned it at a workshop. She also knows how to crochet and embroider.
Name: Edith Quispe Huaroto
About her: She lives with her husband and 4 children. Her mum taught her how to knit and she later learnt more through friends.
Name: Santa Soto Ríos
Origin: Department of Ancash, Wari Province
About her: She lives with her husband and 3 childre. She knows how to knit and sew. She learnt how to knit by teaching herself at age 8. Later, she started working for a company where she got trained. Now she just works with Flora and has 4 ladies under her supervision.
We will post some photos of our knitters soon so that you can see the faces behind the stories