Child hammocks, adult hammocks, handmade in Brazil
The production of traditional hammocks in Brazil started running into trouble a few years ago, as increasing volumes of cheap foam mattresses from the Far East threatened to replace the hammock as the normal bed for Brazilians. Numerous manufacturers were forced to close down and fairtrade was still in its infancy. Nobody believed it was sustainable to offer fair working conditions and to trade viably.
One of these hammock factories, which had stood empty for years, was the birthplace of Amazonas. A factory was renovated in 1996 and new weaving looms purchased. The pace of growth was so fast that, in 2002, the old buildings were torn down and replaced by a new, state-of-the-art production hall. The modern hall has been equipped with additional looms and a new dust extraction system to ensure a dust-free working environment.
Amazonas today offers more than 100 workers a secure job. The majority of them are paid two to three times the minimum legal wage, which offers them and their families a steady income. In addition, they enjoy social standards which are largely unheard of in the rural areas of Brazil, such as social security, health insurance and paid holidays. No children are employed. All the workers are trained adults who have undergone extensive vocational training.
The fact that these hammocks are exported to Europe provides further protection for the workers. The quality of the raw materials corresponds to European standards and the environmental compatibility of the dyes means a healthy working environment for the workers and safe discharge into the rivers. In addition, the hammocks are analysed at regular intervals to ensure no azo dyes, heavy metals, formaldehyde or other pollutants.
The hammocks Amazonas produce do not have spreader bars so to ensure you sleep soundly you need to understand how best to lie in a hammock. And it is also worth knowing how best to hang a hammock in your garden or house.