With the summer weather finally here in the UK, we’ve been thinking about how to keep the sun out of our eyes and the UV rays off our faces. So we were delighted to come across Pachacuti, a company that makes Panama hats using Fair Trade work practices and sustainable materials.
Pachacuti's entire range is Certified Fair Trade, which means ethical standards are guaranteed throughout the entire supply chain by the World Fair Trade Organization. Not only that, but the hats are cool and classic and come in a huge range of styles and colours - we are sold.
The company was started in 1992 by Carry Somers, who was shocked by the trading practices she discovered in Ecuador while on a research trip for university. She was inspired to come back to the UK and start a fair trade label, which now supplies 300 retailers around the world as well as having their own shop online.
The name Pachacuti means "world upside-down" in the Quechua language, and symbolises their aim to turn around injustices in fashion. As well as paying fair prices for the work, Pachacuti supports local community projects such as construction of a co-operative grocery store, giving the local Alcoholics Anonymous board for one year, funding education for poor children, and helping to restore houses of elderly weavers.
They are also committed to gender equality in Fair Trade, and work with organisations of women in rural areas including single and teenage mothers and other marginalised women. On the environmental side, the hats are made from sustainably harvested native Ecuadorian toquilla palm, which is processed using very mild chemicals which are then filtered so that water can be re-used in the production process.