KUSIKUY

Sustainability and quality of life has always been a focal point for me. I fell in love with the simplicity of knitting and the softness and durability of alpaca when I lived in Bolivia. I wanted to share this with the world. I love being the bridge – between the fast paced fashion world and the timeless windswept plains of the Andes and the knitters who live so quietly amongst them. Sweaters are knit in silence and worn in fury. And they last and last becoming our favorite sweaters, friends, soon knit of our own memories.” KUSIKUY founder, Tamara Stenn

Tamara discovered Bolivia as a US Peace Corps business volunteer and rural journalist in 1996. Living in the countryside, exploring Bolivia’s remotest corners, and working with isolated people, gave her a unique understanding of this country often called “the Tibet of the Andes.”

Philosophy
You-us-we are all interrelated, one and together. When happiness is shared by one, it is felt by all.

  • Our focus is on you, the customer: We examine your needs and combine that with our deep knowledge of the country. Bolivia is rich in resources – having the finest alpaca fleece in the world and internationally renown artisans. KUSIKUY is able to access these riches and bring them to you.
  • Our focus is on the producer: We are committed to creating economies in the rural countryside, where they are most needed. This enables us to work with highly skilled artisans who are 4th and 5th generation knitters; who’s ancestors once knit for Inca kings. We supplement traditional knowledge with training in new techniques; finishing, cable designs, and over 30 different knitting stitches.
  • Our focus is on Fair Trade and Sustainability: We support and promote Fair Trade wages and the development of knitting groups. We source the finest natural alpaca fleece and merino wool produced in accordance to organic standards set by the Organic Trade Association. We spread the beauty of handmade, eco-fashion.

KUSIKUY is proud to produce the highest quality, timeless knits made of the finest fiber by the world’s best artisans.

Commitment
KUSIKUY, pronounced, koo see’ kwee, means “Make yourself happy” in Quechua – the traditional language of many of our knitters. We strive to make everyone happy as we tread lightly upon our planet; respecting the natural environment, plants, animals, people and beliefs that make us a single, interrelated, global community.

Our commitment to both the people and the planet starts from the earth, Pachamama, which feeds the native grasses upon which our herds graze and supports the crops our knitters eat. And extends to the environment. Our production is purposely done without fossil fuels. Products are hand knit by the light of the sun or a bulb powered by a solar or hydroelectric energy. Even our yarn processing is done with hydroelectric power and environmentally friendly grey water purification.

…And ends with the people. You, the customer, are guaranteed a beautifully hand crafted garment that you can wear with pride, knowing you look great and are supporting sustainability for the planet and its people.

Indigenous women working under the Fair Trade model

Community leaders Domatilla and Emilia work with KUSIKUY under the Fair Trade model.