Kakaw Designs

@kakawdesigns // Guatemala

“I grew up spending summers in Guatemala and surrounded by textiles. When I was maybe around 5 and back in Guatemala, my parents gave me the choice between going to daycare with other kids or learning how to backstrap weave with a family friend (a traditional weaver). Well, guess what I chose? Weaving.”

“I never expected to work in fashion, but when I really think about it, it makes sense from a grassroots perspective. I love the artisan traditions of Guatemala, as this is our way of supporting the artisans so that they thrive in the global marketplace. Everything we do is detail-oriented and handcrafted ethically. We’re slowing down fashion, making sure that we do it with respect and integrity for the producers.”

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“The name ‘Kakaw’ comes from ‘cacao’ the native plant that gives us chocolate. Our collections are named after birds found here in Guatemala – Quetzal, Hummingbird, Macaw, Toucan… We imagined these vibrant birds living in harmony in the cacao tree. The deep-rooted artisan traditions giving way to beautiful colors, patterns, and designs. Especially working with naturally-dyed textiles, it’s pretty amazing to see the bright colors that can be found from natural sources; thus of the iridescent hues of the hummingbirds in the area.”

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“This season we’re loving our Corte Wraps! We’ve taken used traditional cortes (wrap skirts) and added embroidery and fringes using naturally-dyed cotton thread. The result is a super cozy, luxurious wrap, benefiting two different women’s groups – the weavers who dye the thread using natural sources, and the embroiderers who add the beautiful finishing touches by hand. It’s been the best-selling scarf since its release, and we’re so excited because we have since been able to involve more women in the production, increasing impact here locally.” -Mari Gray (founder)

kakawdesigns.com

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