Fair Trade

KUSIKUY 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
Fair Trade standards are a core part of the KUSIKUY Clothing Company production model:

  • 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 training programs.
  • 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