Pichinku inspired wool
We’ve heard the questions “who makes my clothes?” and “where are my clothes made?” a lot in recent years. They're very good questions and without quickly peaking at the hangtag on your shirt, we more often than not just don’t know. How about the question “who made the materials that made my clothes”? We definitely don’t know the answer to that!
Since 2013 I have been the Director of Operations of Threads of Peru, based in Cusco. Our team works hand-in-hand with artisans that practice totally non-mechanized weaving and natural dyeing techniques, and it was my responsibility to market them. We knew from A to Z where the materials came from and who the product was made by, but even knowing those answers, the products were difficult to sell.
Pichinku was inspired from wanting to find some middle ground between making sustainable products and consumers actually buying them. And it all boiled down to yarn!
Pichinku is a social enterprise based in Cusco, Peru that produces 100% natural knitting weight yarns in the highest quality Peruvian alpaca and wool, sourced from our trusted partners at Michell and Cia. We naturally dye these fibers using locally sourced, exotic plant materials only known to these remote Andean regions of Peru.
These processes are ancient knowledge of the breathtaking mountains that have become my adoptive home. They are sustainable, environmentally friendly and socially conscious, providing long-term economic support to skilled women artisans. All of that “good” and all of those answers, achieved by just making yarn!
I would have never dreamed that my career, beginning as an Anthropology student, then museum curator and most recently textile advocate, would bring me to work with knitting yarn. Knitting was too simple, yarn was too boring to make my development dreams come true.
After working up close and personal with artisanal crafts, I started to imagine things differently; yarn is simple, globally marketable and in higher demand than textiles. Pichinku aspires to help fill the lack of naturally dyed fiber on the market and by just purchasing yarn, consumers positively impact the environment and generate long term opportunities for artisans in Peru.
Pichinku is LIVE on Kickstarter and although they’ve reached their funding goal, the campaign will continue until Feb-28! Why still pledge? Every bit extra will mean an even better beginning for their little bird business! AND making a pledge is the only opportunity to have first edition Pichinku yarn before retail sales open in October. Don’t miss out