This beautiful wall hanging is handwoven and embroidered on the backstrap loom. The inside weft and brocading details are made with recycled plastic bags. The warp is natural raw cotton thread dyed with ash and other natural dyes. These bird designs are traditional Mayan brocade designs that are typically woven into huipiles (Mayan blouses). In this case, the birds are a symbol of the Mayan Nahual of Tzikin, and are considered messengers between humans and the heavens and spiritual world.
MADE BY: Yabal Women’s Cooperative
REGION: Santa Catarina, Guatemala
IMPACT: This product supports the improvement of opportunity and quality of life for Indigenous women in the Western Highlands of Guatemala through Fair Trade and sustainable fashion, while preserving the traditional art of back-strap weaving.
Dominga is one of the leaders of Yabal’s women’s weaving cooperative in the community of Pacutama in Guatemala. Her involvement with Yabal empowered her to pursue leadership in her community, and she became the first woman member of the community’s leadership council.
The opportunity, skills and self-sufficiency Dominga has from weaving with Yabal have made her more confident, and importantly lets her help to make decisions that will affect the entire community. While before, women never left their communities or had a say, Dominga is forging her path and empowering other women to advocate for themselves and be represented in leadership positions.
In a time where the delivery of goods from halfway around the world to your doorstep is normalized, we at OG want to ensure that the products we bring are done so with the earth in mind. That’s why we’ve worked hard to optimize our supply chain so that your stuff doesn’t spend half of its life in transit, contributing even more to carbon emissions. We purchase the products from the makers, and send them to you. That’s it. When we keep the planet top of mind, we all win.
While lots of e-commerce products go through tons of steps before reaching the consumer, we’ve done our best to shrink that chain. And, where a step can’t be avoided, we’ve found companies & intermediaries that align with our values and goals. We do this by purchasing directly from the retailers, packaging & shipping products ourselves, and more.
The women’s weaving collective designs and creates the products. They then and sell them directly through Yabal locally to visitors, online, and wholesale to retailers like us.
We use UTZ, a Guatemalan transport service, to get the products to Toronto. Their mission is to connect Guatemalan artisans & social entrepreneurs to the world. UTZ was founded to help artists and small businesses share their products with the rest of the world. utzmeansgood.com.
Then, the products go online (or to markets here in Toronto) and are delivered directly to you! With no physical retail space and by keeping our operating costs as low as possible, we can offer both the producers and you, our consumers, the fairest price around.