By Sara Milanes
One of the founders at HOPE MADE IN THE WORLD
As a sustainable, fair trade, and certified child-labor-free brand, we are on a mission to transform the way the world perceives, produces, and consumes style. That’s why we work directly with indigenous tribes in Colombia, paying them fair wages, to create one of our top products, the Arhuaco mochila. We believe sustainable and fair-trade fashion can change the world- the environment and the lives of individuals. The Arhuaco mochila is just one example of how our brand is committed to that mission.
The Arhuaco mochila is created by an indigenous tribe called Arhuaco and they live in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Colombia and consider this part of the country to be the heart of the world. They believe in the existence of a creator and a great father, and their mission is to preserve the natural order of the earth and its surroundings. In this tribe, there is a group of 18 women called the Zaku Amuruke, which means “Weavers of Thought”. They are the epitome of powerful womanhood and solidarity, as the group’s main purpose was to help women with roles as heads of family. Through the weaving and design processes, the women aim to send a message and legacy from their previous generations including messages about their culture, where they come from, and why they do what they do.
This group of women come from the Etnia Arhuaca (Arhuaca Ethnicity) and live approximately 2-3 hours away from Pueblo Bello (the city where the women meet to work), thus making a true effort to come together for this purpose. Their aim is to rescue and impulse the weaving tradition of the Arhuaca Mochila. They want to give value to their work through this ancestral tradition and process as is the process of the Arhuaca Mochila. The women not only meet to weave, but they also meet to support each other and their families with the aim to reinforce unity and provide strength and general wellness to one another. They aim to develop an economic income through their traditions and be able to provide for their families. This group embodies women’s empowerment, culture, and sustainable development and we are proud to work with them.
Through your purchase of the sustainably made mochila, you directly support the sustainable fashion as well as empowering marginalized communities and this small tribe of powerful women.
The bags themselves take about 1 month to develop and 2 kilos of wool, each handcrafted and made entirely by hand out of 100% virgin wool. They come in shades of tan and brown- perfect neutrals to go with any wardrobe. The Mochilas have different designs and represent a legacy that was adopted from previous generations. Each mochila´s weaving process is different, so each individual mochila is completely unique. They all have different meanings and each weave has a different thought process.
For this reason, you can feel proud to wear our mochila. You are helping to empower women and you are wearing a unique piece with history and a story behind it. You are supporting sustainable, fair trade, and certified child-labor-free fashion- with purposed style.