Fair trade panama hats from Ecuador
Pachacuti was founded in 1992 by Carry Somers as a fair trade business with the aim of sourcing directly from producers and paying a fair price for products manufactured under good working conditions. Products include rollable panamas for men, medium sized sun hats for men and ladies panamas.
Carry first traveled to Latin America in 1991 to undertake research into Andean textile design and production whilst studying for an M.A. in Native American Studies at the University of Essex. Traveling through Ecuador and meeting the artisans and craft workers who continued to use traditional techniques and materials Cary became fascinated by the skills and designs she found. Carry also became increasingly aware of the inequalities of trade which saw the majority of any profit going to middlemen and little benefit reaching the makers themselves.
Pachacuti's Panama hats are woven and finished in the Cuenca area of southern Ecuador by a women's association representing over 300 weavers. The association aims to allow the weavers access to the whole production process enabling them to retain more of the profit in the sale of the finished hat. The association also supports the weavers by providing education, training in new weaving techniques and regular meetings for advice offering a forum for workers to voice concerns and make suggestions. Pachacuti make small size sun hats, medium size sun hats Pachacuti is a member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS)