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Ethica: About the Makers

Ethica is a Fair Trade social enterprise in Peru made up of women artisans who create beautiful, hand-knitted winter warmers and baby gifts using alpaca wool and other natural fibres. Ethica are committed to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade.

Ethica Snapshot

Location: Peru

Demographic: Women living in rural areas

Materials: Locally-sourced alpaca, cashmere, wool

Techniques: Knitting, crocheting

Memberships: Australian Council for International Developement (ACIFD) and Fair Traders of Australia

Values: Ethical trading, empowering women, respecting cultural identity, and sustainability

Puka Phallca Artisans

Ethica's alpaca wool scarves, beanies and gloves are handknitted by a group of women called Puka Phallca who live in the Andes near Cusco in Peru. 'Puka Phallca' means red gentian which is a type of wildflower that flourishes nearby.
Around 45 women in the village and surrounding areas in the Andes near Cusco are involved in knitting and crocheting. Ethica's Fair Trade partnership has opened up new opportunities for women to earn much-needed extra income. The have formed their own registered association and are looking to open their own shopfront. They are growing and learning with dignity and confidence.

Working from Home

The Ethica baby range is made by women who work from home as part of Ethica's partnership with Asociacion Jesus Obrero. These women receive training in knitting and leadership. The sale of their beautiful alpaca baby blankets, clothing and gifts provides vital funds for the women artisans and their families.

Alpaca Wool: A Sustainable Fibre

 

Most of Ethica's products are made from alpaca wool. Alpaca is warmer, lighter, stronger, and softer than cashmere or merino wool. Alpacas are considered to be the most sustainable renewable fleece producers due to their low impact on the environment.

Alpacas:

  • Tread lightly on the earth thanks to their padded feet (they don't have hooves like sheep and cows)
  • Eat native grasses, nibbling them from the top rather than pulling them out at the roots
  • Produce significantly less methane than other livestock

The Ethica makers were hit very hard during the COVID lockdowns in 2020. During this time they were not able to make an income due to the postal service being shut down in Peru, and the inability to trade at local markets. Your purchase will help the makers, their families, and their communities to get back on their feet by providing much needed funds to pay for healthy food, medicine, and education for their children.

Support the artisans from Ethica by purchasing their products here.