When we hear about ethical fashion we often hear the term “fair trade” too. In fact, in one of our previous posts, we have given a little definition to this term. But this time we are going to immerse ourselves a little bit more into this philosophy.
According to the World Fair trade organization, “Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers”.
Fair trade is about conscious prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for and workers in the developing world. It also addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which is being discriminating the poorest, weakest producers for many years. It helps them to improve their lot and have more control over their lives.
This past week, the Graciela Huam team gathered with the artisans who are in charge of the garment. Grace, the founder of the brand, organized a trip to Puno, a very pretty and culturally rich city in Peru, so she and part of her team would share some time with the weavers.
The main goal was the fraternization between the people, because they are all working for the same project, so it’s important to be in the same page in order to get the best results. It was also the perfect time to teach them some of the new trends in Europe, this way they have more knowledge of what is next for them. Graciela Huam is seeking to improve collection by collection, for that reason is so important to have the weavers the best prepared they can be. Also, Grace showed them the lookbooks of the previous collections for them to see how their work has been shown and promoted in Netherlands. This was the greatest idea because they felt much more involved in the project after seeing them. They felt proud to see how their work is appreciated in another country.
After the trends lecture, everybody enjoyed a meal together, and they made a toast for the Holidays, for the success of the brand, for all the accomplishments and wishing for an even better year for each of them and Graciela Huam. The artisans said they really enjoy the day because they got to learn things from other part of the world, and they felt how Grace really cares not only for their work, but for them as persons too. The weavers, their kids, and the Graciela Huam team, spent a really good time and here are some pictures that captured the moment.
Photo: Graciela Huam SS 2018
We, women, love to look good at all times, and no season is going to be in our way to accomplish this. But, in this time of the year, when it’s a little cold, we want to be able to feel not only gorgeous but also comfortable and warm. So, is there a garment who can make all those things at once? Yes, there is, we are talking about the knit dress.
Sometimes, when it comes to knitwear, we have this idea about a big, loose item meant to keep us warm but not to make us look beautiful. There’s nothing further from the truth. Of course, we have big loose comfy dresses in this group, for those of us who love the oversized trend, but they are also form- fitting sexy dresses with low cuts, there are options for everybody.
Lately, this words has been used more often and you may have heard, “fair trade”, and “sustainable fashion” as well. But, what exactly do all of those terms mean?
In order to explain them, we have to know what “Fast fashion” is. This term refers to the phenomenon of recreating catwalk fashion, at a low cost and high speed. It results in almost 52 fashion “seasons” per year. In order to meet such high demand, something must be sacrificed. Sadly, that sacrifice is often related to the quality of the garment, environment, and the human lives involved in the production process.
Time goes on and fashion always follows in its footsteps, therefore, there are several trends that fit perfectly in each era, or we could say that fashion is a symbol of class and over time has been known to differentiate, but they say that ” the good must be repeated and continue to improve, since “everything returns”, So we presented some clothes that in their time were the most acclaimed, they disappeared, but had a remake years later and proved to be as successful as in their original time.
Ethnic prints on knitwear garments
In 1924 the hipster subculture composed of young bohemians associated with indie and alternative music trends, took this style to the streets showing printed sweatshirts, knitted sweaters and cotton drill shirts that many years later were able to draw a large number of followers for this fashion.
Dior Resort 2018
Hidden in the soft shadow of the green hills of Puno, welcomed by the dance of the beautiful grass that whispers to the air, is the existence of a technique of ancestral weaving that has been preserved for years, passing from generation to generation below Lake Titicaca.
Various communities of women from Puno use a meticulous method of weaving with great precision to obtain a garment rich in details and of great quality thanks to the materials used (alpaca wool and Pima cotton), this work cannot be done overnight since they are prepared from youth in their community to perfect this technique.
For such delicate work, they need a great deal of cooperation amongst the members of the community, so each one is responsible for performing a different part of the process.
To understand it, first we must know it, so let’s go back to its origins.
This plant was domesticated and cultivated by the ancient Peruvians and had extremely important influences on textile development in the introduction of weaving techniques 3,000 years ago. Different pre-Inca civilizations spread the various techniques of weaving (embroidery), dyeing (plant pigments and fibers of natural color), and drawing (mythical characters and geometric figures) in the Andean region.
With the passage of time, garments made with pima cotton presented different properties that attracted the eyes of different markets worldwide. Now we know that the microclimate, the soil, and the seed have made Peruvian pima cotton the most valued in the world for its fineness and for possessing the longest fibers.
There are more than three million alpacas in Peru, made up of two distinct varieties: Huacaya (which have fine spongy wool) and Suri (which have soft shiny wool). The former is the more numerous of the two (accounting for 93 percent of the population). These camelids can measure between four and five feet in height and they are sheared with knives or shears using a special technique to avoid causing the animal pain or discomfort.
The most sought-after alpaca clothes are those made using a combination of two different types of wool:
The first of these, “Baby alpaca” wool, is obtained exclusively from the initial clipping or shearing of the alpaca, which is usually carried out when the animal is two years old (so not necessarily a baby). Clothing made using this wool is heavy, lacking in sheen, very cold (it can seem damp at times) and feels silky, oily and a little greasy to the touch (it slips and slides between the fingers). This latter quality is due to a grease the alpaca produces called lanolin. These types of garments also have the characteristic of adapting to the temperature of the body, which means they are perfectly comfortable to use in both winter and summer.
The second type of wool, “alpaca” (as opposed to baby alpaca), is obtained from the second and subsequent shearings of the animal. It comes in more than 25 natural colour shades and is less soft than baby alpaca (feeling slightly rough in texture). However, it is extremely hard wearing and emerges from the production process with its sheen intact. One of alpaca wool’s special qualities is that it is both warm yet cold to the touch and also a little on the heavy side (though not as heavy as baby alpaca wool).
There is an ideal outfit for every season, and what better way to welcome in the autumn and winter than by wrapping up in some elegant and stylish knitwear. Usually made with wool or cotton, it is manufactured in such a way that it feels handmade (when stretched out, you can see tiny gaps in the fabric). The texture of the knitwear can vary depending on the needle thickness (this determines the size of the knit), as well as the pressure applied to the fabric or thread during its creation.
This is one of the oldest forms of making clothing, knitted socks and tights date back to 11th century Egypt, or even earlier according to some studies. In Europe, knitwear formed a part of daily life from the 14th century onwards, proving particularly popular in Great Britain and Scandinavia, especially among fisherman. In 1816, the first circular knitting machine was developed in England (perfect for underwear), and at the same time, fashion magazines began to heavily promote knitwear. By the beginning of the 20th century, these garments had become even more popular, with sporting and casual styles coming into fashion, as an elegant and functional way of dressing. Over the next century, different styles began to flourish, creatively combining colours, with sweaters becoming very popular among women.
Throughout the world, there are different varieties of cotton used for production in the clothing industry, but only one is considered the richest in terms of its characteristics, in addition to providing greater comfort to the wearer, giving the satisfaction of being, without a shadow of doubt, a high-quality textile garment, resilient and highly valued around the world.
In a previous post we talked about the exclusivity and technical details of this fibre. We are talking about “Pima cotton” which shares a common bond with another prized fibre, “Egyptian cotton”. Both are intended purely for production of high level textile garments for the world’s most demanding industries.
Both their histories converge with the introduction into Peru of Egyptian cotton which came from the State of Arizona in 1918 (originally an Egyptian Mit Afifi type). This seed adapted perfectly to the climatology and the land type in the Piura region, producing a fibre with unparalleled and unique varieties.
First, let’s identify what an alpaca is. Alpacas are mammals that have been around for thousands of years, as their presence dates from pre-Inca cultures.
The Pima Cotton is harvested on the northern coast of Peru by hand, a process that allows to differentiate the qualities of cotton.
Graciela Huam is a Peruvian Dutch fashion brand inspired by both countries, our garments are hand woven by Peruvian artisans using the method of knitting. Our materials: 100% Peruvian alpaca, baby alpaca and pima cotton raws, which are ideal for the production of high quality garments due to their durability, versatility and fineness.
Graciela Huam Knitwear perfectly combine different types of stitches, reliefs and designs, which mesh perfectly in order to create high fashion garments, unique and exclusive, that will allow you to stand out with a chic, sophisticated and prêt-à-porter look.
Our team works with Andean communities and cooperatives that are gathered in associations that govern their work activities through the Fair-Trade policy that promote a voluntary and fair trade relationship between producers and consumers.
Alpaca is an “auquenido”, they are mammal of the order of the camelid. These are original species from Peru and Bolivia.
The Alpaca has a size of 90 centimeters and measures 1-1.40 meters long. It weighs on average 80 kilos. The head is small, the forehead broad and flat. The ears are very mobile, directed forward when they are watching and Backwards when running when being persecuted. The eyes are large, very expressive, with kind and timid look. The fur is soft and ideal for the production of clothing. Their coat is mainly white, gray, brown or black.