The roots of Pachacuti lie high in the Andes. Our fashion stems from the creativity, skills, traditions and heritage of artisans whose textile heritage spans millennia.
HANDWOVEN SINCE 1992
Our story is one of collaboration, preservation, transformation and reinterpretation.
Our story begins in 1992, 500 years since Columbus arrived in the Americas. A year
when indigenous peoples worked together to reassert their identity, recover their
cultural heritage and restructure their future based on their past.
Weaving is a communication system, a way of holding knowledge, a cultural exchange and
an economic opportunity. It is about relationships and the handing down of knowledge,
between mother and daughter, within the community, with other artisans, with the
PACHA MEANS BOTH
EARTH AND TIME.
The turning around of time, the start of a new era, a world turned upside-down.
Our founder Carry Somers firmly believes that we can do business differently. She chose Pachacuti for our name because it describes our mission as a force for positive change in the global fashion industry and our endeavour to reverse long-standing inequalities. And so Carry began an exchange.
This exchange was different than what had gone before, with a foundation built on respect for the designs and skills of the artisans. In addition, it reflected high regard for their cultural heritage and an appreciation of the raw materials and the wider natural environment where they grow.
OUR CORE BELIEF IN SUSTAINABILITY AND FAIR TRADE BUSINESS
Following the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, Carry was inspired to take action. Along with co-founder Orsola de Castro, they created Fashion Revolution, a global coalition calling for fundamental, systemic reform of the fashion supply chain.
A TRACEABLE NARRATIVE
Therefore, Pachacuti became a trailblazer in an industry built upon secrecy and injustice. Following the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh and the climate change emergency, major brands have begun to take transparency and sustainability issues more seriously. But progress is slow. For example, commitments are vague, and responsibility does not reach down the supply chain to those who weave the fabric, tan the leather, or grow and spin the fibres.
Pachacuti has been a pioneer of radical transparency in the fashion supply chain. We believe that transparency is the first step towards a new culture. A culture of openness and accountability. More importantly, a culture of responsibility and trust.
We worked on the pilot project of the Sustainable Fair Trade Management System, and in 2009 became the first company in the world to have its entire supply chain fair trade certified.
We piloted the EU Geo Fair Trade project. It traced the journey of our Panama hats from the straw grown in the coastal cloud forest to the houses of our hat weavers, using GPS mapping. Annually, we collected 60 social, environmental and economic indicators. Accordingly, we used these to measure the impact of our business practices. Not just on the environment but on our producers, their families and communities. In addition, we measured the amount of water and energy used in making our products.
We are proud to have been the first brand certified under the World Fair Trade Organisation’s (WFTO) Fair Trade Guarantee System.
Only 37% of our producers have completed primary education. So we had to devise new, visual ways to assess our impact on alleviating poverty. The tools we developed have been used by many organisations all over the world.
DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
IS PART OF OUR DNA.
We exist to change fashion.
Fashion that works for the powerless, and not just the powerful. Fashion that works for people. Fashion that works for biodiversity, for ecosystems, for forests, for animals, for soil, and for oceans.
Above all, to do things differently requires the creation of a sustainable and fair system. One that does not fuel climate change or feed on the exploitation of others. And one that is not built on the abuse of human rights.
TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY MEANS PACHACUTI
The word Pachacuti translates as ‘to remake the world’.
A new mindset.
A new era, interwoven with respect for culture, craftsmanship, human rights and preserving the environment.
A new system.
A new way of working.
And a new beginning.