Awamaki is a Peruvian non-profit working with indigenous Quechua women weavers to improve their skills and increase their access to market, thereby revitalizing an endangered weaving tradition while affording Quechua women a reliable source of income.
Awamaki Lab is a six-month fashion design residency that gives young designers the opportunity to develop a capsule collection in partnership with Awamaki and its weavers’ association. The goal of Awamaki Lab is to create value-added channels of growth for the Awamaki Weaving Project, provide economic opportunities to women in the district of Ollantaytambo, Peru, and demonstrate the innovative potential of traditional weavings.
Fashion designers cultivate their unique vision through mentorship with leaders in the sustainable design sector, and showcase their aesthetic versatility by combining vibrant, hand-spun Andean textiles with their own contemporary patterns and silhouettes. Their work, in turn, both supports the weaving association through increased textile sales and helps us finance a sewing and knitting cooperative in Ollantaytambo to create a sustainable enterprise for local women.
Awamaki Lab is committed to:
Creating new sales channels for the Patacancha weaving association, which will:
- Broaden Awamaki’s consumer base by appealing to a new consumer demographic.
- Provide safeguards against an unpredictable tourism market.
- Continue Awamaki’s efforts to empower and provide a stable source of income for indigenous women weavers.
Introducing concepts of socially-responsible production practices to the next generation of fashion designers, which will:
- Help promote consideration of humanitarian and environmental issues within the design community.
- Encourage greater compliance to fair-trade and/or environmental standards in the fashion sector.
Facilitating job creation and providing employment opportunities for economically marginalized women in Ollantaytambo by investing in a sewing co-operative. This will:
- Diversify the job market and provide work opportunities unrelated to tourism.
- Provide a reliable source of income for members of the sewing collective so that they may attain financial autonomy.
- Enable women to develop the professional skills and self-esteem that will ultimately lead to social transformation.
- Encourage female entrepreneurship by allocating a percentage of sales to a co-operative fund, in which members are primary stake-holders and over which they have complete decision-making power.