/ Makers

Knitting, Crocheting and Weaving are core activities for the Wayuú indigenous culture

According to an old Wayúu legend, the spider taught Wayúu women artisans how to weave stories to remember them and to hand down to their children. Attached to the legend there’s a saying among Wayúu  women, “The woman who doesn’t know how to weave is no real woman.” 

The Wayuú people live in the desert state of La Guajira in northern Colombia, and have been knitting, crocheting and weaving for centuries. Each woven design carries a meaning that extends far beyond its aesthetic appeal and celebrates individuality and creativity.

 

 

Wayúu textile traditions are handed down from the older generation to the younger generation—typically from grandmothers to their granddaughters.  Yet, like many indigenous cultures, the young are seduced with the lure of modernisation and ¨better paying jobs¨ in towns and cities. 

Interested in the preservation of this traditional craftsmanship and ethnic culture, Procraftinations founder Angelica Salazar  is providing marketing and design consultancy to the artisan and designer communities in Colombia, with the aim of providing access to a broader international market to support sustainable community development in Colombia and South America.

 

Read more →

Colombia, one of the 72 countries leading a Fashion Revolution!

On 24 April 2013, 1133 people died in the Rana Plaza catastrophe in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A further 2500 were injured. They were killed while working for familiar fashion brands in one of the many ‘accidents’ that plague the garment industry.

Fashion Revolution Colombia

Fashion Revolution is a global coalition of designers, academics, writers, business leaders and parliamentarians calling for systemic reform of the fashion supply chain.

In short we believe that 1133 is too many people to lose from the planet in one factory, on one terrible day without that standing for something.

Fashion Revolution sees the Rana Plaza disaster as a metaphorical call to arms, and Fashion Revolution Day,  held annually on the 24th of April,  keeps the most vulnerable in the supply chain in the public eye.

We need it to show the world that change is possible.

The true cost of the current fashion business model must not be forgotten: complacency and distraction means unless we resolve here and now, incidents such as Rana Plaza will be dismissed as an unfortunate reality of contemporary life.

We must not allow that to happen.

We want to use the power of fashion to inspire a permanent change in the fashion industry and reconnect the broken links in the supply chain. At the moment of purchase, most of us are unaware of the processes and impacts involved in the creation of a garment. We need to reconnect through a positive narrative, to understand that we aren’t just purchasing a garment or accessory, but a whole chain of value and relationships.

APD Project_Seed Bead Accessories Maker

 By asking consumers, designers, brands, and all those who care to ask a simple question “Who Made My Clothes?” we envisage a change in perspective that will lead to a deeper understanding. In our particular case the question is "Who Made My Accessories?"  Be curious, find out, do something.

8_FRD_actions_landscape

Demand to know who are the individuals who makes your fashion and discover the organisations working on the field to make change happen.

“Fashion Revolution promises to be one of the very few truly global campaigns to emerge this century” – Baroness Young of Hornsey, UK

Find us on Twitter @FashRev_Colombia and use the hashtag #whomademyclothes to join the conversation. 

 

Read more →

A native indigenous community setting example of entrepreneurial leadership in Colombia

While there is barely a Colombian who has not been affected by the five-decade-long internal conflict, it is often the indigenous communities that have been hurt most severely. In the first nine months of 2012 alone, 11,000 indigenous people were forcefully displaced,78 were killed and 47 received death threats.

A few resilient indigenous communities such as the Embera-Jaikerazabi located in Mutatá, Antioquia, have managed to survive the tough reality in which they find themselves caught, and have seen in the medium of craft, an opportunity to improve the quality of life of their people, and in doing so have become a real example to follow for similar communities.

Javier Domico is an indigenous leader, who four years ago undertook the task of advising and assisting in the recovery of craft traditions that had been in danger of becoming lost over time, and is currently coordinating important social projects funded by the local government and private corporate responsibility programs in Colombia. Not only a traditional master craftsman himself, he is also an educator and nowadays leads a group of two male and eleven female household heads, who are handcrafting intricate seed bead accessories, some of the most popular traditional products sold during well established craft trade shows.

His wife and two children are involved in the business too, and Javier gains much satisfaction from being able to pass on the traditional skills and knowledge to his 15 year old son, which will help to preserve the native cultural heritage and rich costumes. Moreover, he proudly states that his wife also has real talent as a designer, although his daughter doesn’t seem very keen on the path as a craftsperson, preferring the academic side ofthings.

Communities like that of the Jaikerazabi work all year long in the hope of making most of their profits during two or three annual trade shows, however the stand fees are becoming very expensive and despite having a lot of success, they would like to have more established and regular customers, meaning more stability and continuity for their businesses.

Javier is also a shop owner in Mutata, but his sales remain limited to local demand, he could sell more but due to being located six hours away from Medellin, his market remains limited and his income unpredictable. We met during one of the prominent craft trade shows, and he sees in the opportunity to showcase his products online with Procraftinations a potential answer to overcoming some of his constraints.

By introducing artisans such as Javier to today's increasingly digital working methods, Procraftinations is providing them with the chance to operate 24/7, accessing global consumers online, and thus empowering their communities, connecting markets and fostering opportunities that could potentially change lives.

Angélica Salazar the founder of Procraftinations.co.uk takes pride in supporting on a voluntary basis @FashRevCol - #FashRev - Who Made my Clothes?  as Country Coordinator in Colombia.

 

Read more →

Who Made My Accessories?

Who made your accessories? This blog will be dedicated to posting  stories from artisans, designers and makers who endeavour to create products that are a display of traditional craftmanship, but at the cutting edge of fashion. 

Read more →