Ethical Fashion. Timeless Designs. Artisan Made.
Yanawara is an ethical fashion brand working hand in hand with Bolivian artisans to make our timeless alpaca knitwear designs come to life.
WE BELIEVE THAT WHAT YOU WEAR TELLS A STORY. HERE IS OURS.
Did you know that Yanawara means “star that comes from afar” in the Aymara language?
The Aymara people are an indigenous community in Bolivia, and its neighboring countries, known among many things for their colorful woven textiles and exquisite craftsmanship. Our founder, Pamela, learned to speak Aymara a few years ago, having always felt proud for her culture and a deep admiration for the Aymara community and their work. Most of the artisans we work with are Aymara and, through our name, we hope each of our products can be like a star that came all the way from Bolivia to share their story with you and help you tell your own story.
From the Andes to the Amazon, Bolivia is a country known for its rich culture, traditions and hard working people. The beauty, quality and uniqueness of its products and materials is still a secret for many but we aim to change that!
The colors, textiles, shapes and stories of Bolivia are an endless source of inspiration for Yanawara’s ethically-made alpaca knitwear and carefully curated selection of accessories. Through our brand and each item we sell, we hope to share the beauty of Bolivia as well as the talent and stories of its artisans with you.
ETHICALLY-MADE BY BOLIVIAN ARTISANS
Yanawara partners with artisans and entrepreneurs in the Bolivian artisan industry. The majority of these artisans are women, working from home or in small workshops. Many have been working in the artisan industry for generations or joined it as a means to be independent and support their families with dignity.
We are deeply committed to honoring their traditions and sustainable practices, starting with “mutual breeding”, an ancestral, harm-free process that involves a mutual care, love and respect of animals, people and the environment.
The alpaca wool used in our timeless designs is locally and sustainably-sourced. In addition to being deeply linked to Bolivia’s culture, it is also a fine fiber that is both warm and lightweight, incredibly soft and hypoallergenic.
Our artisans use traditional spinning techniques and non-dyed colors, where the richness of the fibers’ natural colors can be fully appreciated, and natural dyes made with local plants. The weaving process is also carried out with great expertise and care, which is why each of our products is of the highest quality. We use flat domestic knitting machines, pedal looms and some pieces are all handmade.
We develop close relationships with each of our artisan partners. This allows us to collaborate together through the design, planning and production process. We also visit their workshops to guarantee that the manufacturing process is as ethical as possible. This also enables us to be transparent and provide real costs to our partners, clients and all parties involved.
OUR MISSION & VALUES
At Yanawara, we believe in putting people and the planet before profit.
Our mission is to support Bolivian artisans, women in leadership and entrepreneurship as well as innovation and social impact within the fashion industry. By sharing how and where our products are made, while celebrating our artisan partners who make them, we hope to increase consumers’ awareness and appreciation of fair trade, ethical and sustainable fashion.
FAIR TRADE FASHION & SUSTAINABILITY
The United Nations identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs). They are calls to action to achieve a better, more sustainable future for all. These goals recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that develop economic growth and different social needs, including education, health, social protection and job opportunities, while also addressing climate change and environmental protection.
We support that vision and want to be a part of the change. That is why we identified the following 4 SDGs aligned with our mission and vision:
We put these goals into action in different ways within our business, including by following fair trade and labor practices, sustainable sourcing and social values. We are also deeply committed to cultural preservation and intersectional environmentalism.
We aim to reduce the gap between the North and the South by providing Bolivian artisans with more work fair and safe work opportunities while bringing you beauty and joy through our products. We believe this is key in helping address environmental justice.
WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER
At Yanawara, we strongly believe that fashion should be ethical and sustainable. We are committed to supporting fair trade principles and sustainable production processes while supporting artisanal knowledge and craftsmanship as well as female leadership and entrepreneurship.
That is why, in addition to working with Bolivian artisans to bring our designs to life, we are proud members of:
The NY Fair Trade Coalition promotes and connects fair trade businesses and retailers in New York City while educating consumers on the importance of fair trade practices.
Build a Nest supports the responsible growth and creative engagement of the artisan & maker economy to build a world of greater gender equity and economic inclusion.
The Luminary Collective is built on collaboration over competition and supporting women business owners. Their marketplace platform highlights the products and services of different women-owned, founded and operated businesses.
OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE
We regularly meet with new artisans and handworkers to collaborate with in Bolivia. Their creations and their expertise are a constant source of inspiration for us and we are always on the lookout for new design ideas and products to add to our selection for our customers.
We also want to build an inspiring and impactful collective, helping connect artisans with the global fashion industry and working together to build up the new handworker economy in a sustainable and ethical way.
Yanawara was built on love, hope and stories.
Thank you for supporting us and being a part of our story!