Hope Made In The World
How is hope made? You know that smiling at a stranger might just make another person’s day. So, what if we all just tried to do a little good every day? We say it is dark times. We can not turn on the news without getting depressed, but every day I work with amazing people that are smiling in my direction. People who are trying to give back, and make this world a little brighter. Just think if we all did that. That is hope. Hope fills you with light, and that light just radiates out. It is infectious. This is what I love about the brand Hope Made In The World. They are making beautiful fashion, and in the process they are giving hope to different communities across South America. They recognize how important it is to build a community and support each other. To learn more about this inspiring band, please read our exclusive interview below.
We love your name, Hope Made, how did you come up with it? How do you feel it symbolizes your brand?
We live in a world full of fear, barriers, challenges, and we wanted a name that would eliminate all that. We wanted a name that would inspire the opposite of fear, that would inspire dreams and perspective, a name that could bring people together as one. Hope Made in The World.
How long has Hope Made been around?
We started the business in May 2015, we legally formed the business in November 2015, and we launched to the public in September 2016. We are a family-owned company, self-funded.
Where are you located?
Us, the owners and managers are from Colombia, so we live in Bogota and have our main office here. Our warehouse is in Idaho in the United States, and the business is legally formed in the United States.
Are you Peruvian/Columbian/South American? What made you decide to work with wool and people from South America?
We were born and raised in Colombia, a neighboring country of Peru. We have grown up learning and living very close to amazing flora and fauna and indigenous communities. Their amazing work, and the amazing, beautiful resources that both Colombia and Peru have, introduced us to such a vast sector of artisanal tradition. We wanted to be a part of it in a way that could bring better livelihoods to communities. So, this is what we work for, to provide opportunity. In Latin America we have some of the most diverse countries in the world.
What made you decide to decide to work with Peruvian alpaca?
The alpaca fleece is much finer than any other wool. There is no cruelty in the herding nor shearing process, and they only get 1 annual haircut. Alpaca is naturally available in over 22 different colors, so we rarely undergo dyeing processes, hence, less contamination and less energy usage. The animal is so noble and such a great friend, it makes all the difference.
What does it mean that your wool is 100% virgin wool?
Our 100% virgin wool is used for our mochila collection. Virgin wool usually means that the wool has never been processed, has never been dyed, nor woven/used before. It can also refer to a wool that has come from the first shearing of a lamb. It is very soft and very fine.
Your website says that you are changing the way the world sees sustainable fashion. How do you feel you are doing this?
We are pioneers within the sustainable fashion sector in Colombia and Latin America, we are leaders in what we do. In regard to our supply chain, who we work with, how we audit our factories and suppliers, we are leading the charge where we come from. We believe that the quality of the product that you get is 100% guaranteed, it is a product that has been made thinking of a long shelf-life, and it is made thinking of what would happen if you were to dispose of it. Our commitment to working more and more with 100% sustainable fabrics gives us the opportunity to think about the future.
Why is sustainable fashion so important?
I have been working and studying in the industry for the past 15 years, and I am passionate about textiles and where they come from. It’s amazing how we have lost sight of how powerful this instrument is, and how damaging it can be if we don´t make use of it properly. I believe we are seeing the outcome today.
So, you use Peruvian wool, but work with Columbian tribes to to create your designs. What made you decide to work with Columbian weavers?
We have 2 areas of work in our product: 1) Peruvian alpaca, which is our prime resource for our clothing, which we manufacture in Peru and export to the United States. 2) then we have our fair-trade accessories collection which are the Colombian mochilas. This is part of a social impact project, where we work with indigenous communities in Colombia to produce the mochila. Both Peru and Colombia are part of our social responsibility framework. We decided to work with them because this is a product very close to our hearts and home, and we wanted to stay connected to our native identity. It is a beautiful, luxurious product that once you start using, you never go back. It is great for mothers with babies, great for weekend getaways, great for everyday use. Such a versatile, well-made, long-lasting product.
We love that you work with the Arhuaco tribe, with a group of women called Zaku Amuruke, which means “Weavers of Thought”. Did they have this name before they joined up with Hope Made? We would love to learn more about their beautiful name.
They are amazing, such knowledgeable people. They had that name before we came along. That is the name of their co-op, led by women, they are a group of about 40 women that meet every month to weave. Zaku Arumuke talks about how they translate their ideology into their work, their cosmology. It also has to do with how these women come together as a support group for each other. So they meet to discuss family, to discuss nature, life, meaning, and they recreate these thoughts into graphic representations which is what you see in our mochila collection. They come from a very special place in Colombia called the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, which is considered to be the heart of the world according to their beliefs. We agree and we share many of their beliefs.
How did you find this group of women?
I have had a working relationship and spiritual relationship with their Mamu, or leader. Mamu Menjabin is a spiritual leader of the Arhuaco tribe, and I met him about 5 years ago in an artisanal fair in Bogota. Since then, we have been working with their foundation, “Fundacion Nuevo Amanecer Indigena”, and his wife, Sara, the leader of the Zaku Arumuke coop. We have visited their community in the mountains and have been learning from them ever since. Our aim is to grow our work together, our impact, and grow our spiritual journey.
Why do you think it is important to empower women in developing countries?
We believe it is a primary force to improve education, equality. The more women have access to tools, and platforms, the more women can become leaders and teachers.
Are the women you work with typically the heads of their households? Is that common?
Some of them are heads of households, some of them are not. Some of them will continue to execute this role because it is the role that women are supposed to execute in the Arhuaco culture.
We love that you worked with one of our cover models, Elliott Sailors. What made you decide to make her one of the faces of Hope Made?
Elliott is such a great human being. Her values, what she stands for, and how passionate she is about doing good was something that we were completely drawn to. She is so beautiful, and she is goodness.
What is Hope Made’s moto?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Where are the best places to find your products?
Our website: www.hopemade.world
To learn more about Hope Made, please check out their social media here: