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Our World

STRAW

A genuine, hand-woven Panama Hat is made from the straw known locally in Ecuador as Paja Toquilla which comes from the leaves of Carludovica Palmata. Sometimes incorrectly called a palm, the Carludovica Palmata is a tropical cloud forest plant indigenous to elevated regions close to the Ecuadorian coast.

In the late 18th century José Pavon and Hipolito Ruiz, botanists from the royal gardens in Madrid, named the plant Carludovica Palamata, a merging of the names of  King Carlos IV of Spain and his wife Ludovica. 149 new plant species were presented in Europe at this same time. The majority were named after great men of Europe and Carludovica Palmata was the only plant to be named, in part, after a woman.

Pachacuti’s Panama Hats are made from organically-grown Carludovica Palmata cultivated on a community-owned plantation which encourages biodiversity of plants and animals within a 5600 hectare protected area. The community has been working hard to protect their area of land and to increase sustainability and biodiversity in the area. They are now seeing a lot more birds and animals in the area such as toucans, armadillos and monkeys, as well as the odd tarantula.

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WE ARE PRODUCING OXYGEN FOR THE WORLD

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MANAGING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Pachacuti has identified the direct and indirect environmental aspects of all of our business activities by Eco-mapping the premises of of our producer groups, analysing raw material flows, calculating energy and water use per hat and calculating our CO2 emissions throughout our business activities.

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In 2009 we switched to 100% renewable electricity and in 2010 we became one of the first UK businesses to switch to Green Gas. We have installed eco compact fluorescent lighting and a new heating system throughout our offices, warehouse and shop in order to reduce energy use.

As a result of these measures, CO2 impact from our Derbyshire HQ was reduced by 49% over a 5 year period.

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THE PLANT CAN BE CROPPED ONCE A MONTH FOR 100 YEARS. THIS MUST SURELY BE ONE OF THE MOST SUSTAINABLE RAW MATERIALS IMAGINABLE.

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WASTE

In Ecuador, the hat trimmings create compost which is used to grow vegetables in the association’s garden which grows vegetables to feed the workers. Pachacuti has instituted a comprehensive recycling program and we reuse and recycle 98% of all waste and packaging materials from our premises.

When a Panama reaches the end of its life, it can simply be put on the compost heap.