In the month of love…
It is unbelievable what you can learn when you work directly with artisans and how you can also use that knowledge to contribute to communities...
In the middle of this pandemic, we expanded our line of products and the number of artisans we are supporting in Peru. We reaffirmed our commitment to fair trade, the community and the environment.
And it was thanks to Alcira, our Arpillera artisan, that we have learned more about this artistic technique and how Alcira gives back to her community.
Traditionally, Arpillera is done using burlap. Women use scraps of cloth and recycled clothes to create different decorative scenes and flourishes on various products. As with Alcira and the women in her community, they sell their handicrafts to generate income to support their basic needs.
See our Arpillera Collection:
In Alcira´s case, her work goes far beyond that. Alcira is a leader in her community, works with churches and NGOs and does whatever it takes to provide food, clothes, and virtual education to not only her family (2 kids), but also many other families in her community during this pandemic. Thus, we decided to join efforts with her and here is where the magic, love and collaboration under the principle of Fair Trade and circular economy start, not only focusing on recycled materials, ways to reduce waste, but also rethinking how to give back to these local communities:
First at all, NGO Inspira like an angel, appeared at the perfect moment, and decided to join efforts with Blossom Inspirations to provide food, second hand furniture and toys to this community in Pamplona Alta and brought happiness to more than 100 families during Holiday season. Kudos to Gabriella Trelles, Rodrigo Mendoza & Ricardo Pun!
REDUCE & RECYCLE
Later and in a way to kick off 2021, Blossom Inspirations started a small campaign, asking for scraps of materials from factories. Immediately friends from the Amazon in Peru jumped in, offering support in this journey https://www.facebook.com/janeartisans/ Can you imagine??, YES! angels from the rainforest supporting a community in Lima – usually, it’s the other way around. The results were 11 lbs (5 kgs) of donated materials that were destined for a landfill, reducing the amount of waste. Kudos to Natalia Gonzales Becerra!
REPURPOSE AND RETHINK
Finally, through word of mouth, we were able to collect more clothes to be repurposed by Alcira. First, she chose which items could be reused in her Arpillera artwork – choosing colorful scenes, patterns, textures for plants & animals, and sea life. By collaborating with her, we were able to rethink new applications of her Arpillera art, designing new products. Second, the rest of the donated clothes were distributed to Alcira’s community. Therefore, there was ZERO WASTE, everything was either recycled into her artwork or reused by the community.
This journey has helped us appreciate Arpillera art and Alcira’s commitment to a sustainable process, exemplifying the principles of circular economy – a reinvestment in her community.
I always talk about how can I continue to reconnect with my home country living here in the US and this yet another example of making connections, especially during this challenging time when Peru and its vulnerable communities are locked down in mandatory quarantines.
OUR CALL TO ACTION
If you are reading this blog and you are interested in contributing to artisans in Peru, like Alcira, email us at: Info@blossominspirations.com We have lots of resources and a network of organizations helping Peru’s most at-risk communities.