has a MISSION to provide attractive Fair Trade knits while supporting
and promoting indigenous communities. This is achieved through the development
of reciprocal, democratic trade. We listen to our customers, determine
their Fair Trade knitwear needs, and follow industry trends to support
product development and sales. And we work with knitters to collaborate
on projects, source local materials, and coordinate production scheduling.
By involving everyone in our production model, we create compelling products
that meet everyone's needs and "Makes everyone happy!"
Fair Trade standards are a core part of the KUSIKUY Clothing Company production
- We provide fair wages in the local context paying knitters double
and triple minimum wage.
- We support safe, healthy, and participatory workplaces.
- We supply financial and technical support as well as shared community
planning to build capacity. This includes zero-interest loans and free
- We ensure environmental sustainability. This includes only using fiber
produced in accordance to standards set by the Organic Trade Association
and a zero carbon footprint (no use of fossil fuels) in our production.
- We respect and embrace the cultural identity of families and community.
We build direct and long-term relationships working with the same groups
for over a decade.
BENEFITS OF FAIR TRADE
Since 1997, KUSIKUY has increased knitters' annual income by almost 20%
and provided over 100 hours of free training. This investment has raised
literacy rates, introduced new technical skills, improved organizational
skills, and enabled our 300+ knitters' families to enjoy higher quality
diets, medical care, and better education. Spurred on by the confidence
and training they have received, knitters solicit new development projects,
promote human rights, and become elected officials in their communities.
Now in times of climate change, KUSIKUY knitters, the majority of whom
are also small farmers, are relaying on their knitting income more than
ever. Due to the melting of the tropical glaciers, Bolivia's underground
aquifers are drying up. Many farmers have wells and relay on these aquifers
for crop irrigation. Once producers of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions
and wheat, farmers are now mono-cropping corn (which needs less irrigation
to produce), with no crop rotation. This is quickly depleting the soil
and will destroy the family farm. The knitters feed their families and
earn most of their household income through farming. Knitting, once a
source of supplemental income, is now becoming the primary income.
A proud member since 2000.