World Fair Trade Organization – Beyond Beautiful

simiatug lLakta (Embroidery)

Simiatug is a 99% indigenous village, geographically and socially isolated in the heart of the central Andes of Ecuador. The ‘Andes- Living’ or ‘Vivir-Andino” Collection is a representation of indigenous women’s dreams, feelings and living conditions in the midst of the Andean Cordillera.

Isolated and perhaps unseen by many, indigenous women are true artists with great abilities and talents, who also sustain their families, raise livestock and cultivate their lands . The majority of the artisans are semi-literate, which makes it hard for them to express their reality with words and writing. This is why embroidery became a blank canvas filled with coloured threads of thought.

The embroidered collection depicts a journey through the Kichwa-indigenous lifestyle and culture. Every day starts when women prepare food for the family and take care of their animals and crops. That is why you’ll find elements like shepherds, sheep, rabbits, and crops featured in their creations. These visual traditions are the reflection of their very own rituals and storytelling.

Indigenous women have a profound sense of existence as ‘the knowledge of raising life’. Lockdowns have sharpened our sense of what is essential and necessary in order to survive as a society. We have been forced to turn to the people around us and our surroundings. Andes-Living embroidery is a perfect example of community respect and appreciation.

WAWA-Slippers Collection: (Wawa- child in Kichwa) The Wawa-slippers Collection was entirely conceived, planned, and executed during lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In moments where we have to maintain social distance and rely on close friendship and family, homes have become a safe refuge. Understanding that time at home has increased, women have seen the need to redirect their efforts towards a new product line inspired by the comfort at home and child care. Women from Simiatug have pivoted from accessories for men & women, to slippers for children. 

COVID-19 exacerbated existing hardships and stress trickled from parents to children. The WAWA-slippers were created with the goal of sparking positive thinking & creativity in kids through a highly practical accessory.