This past May 14 we commemorated World Fair Trade Day. This was a good moment to reflect on how Yabal is part of this World movement, promoting justice in trading partnerships between producers and consumers with a focus on environmental sustainability.
We had the chance to celebrate with women from Chuicutáma, part of the Yabal cooperative . We shared a moment of joy and happiness; enjoyed a delicious “caldo de wak’ax” (Beef soup) with the women weavers that have been part of Yabal since 2005. Despite the struggles and difficulties, we celebrated the continuous hard work of these women!
Yabal Guatemala is a Fair-Trade organization, focused on sustainable fashion, that supports indigenous women’s weaving cooperatives in Guatemala, providing them with the opportunity to sell their hand-woven products through local and international markets. We aim to promote positive and long-term socio-economic change and build self-sufficiency.
“World Fair Trade Day is a global celebration of the fair trade movement’s contributions to the struggle against poverty, exploitation, and climate change” WFTO
How do we ensure we follow Fair Trade principles? Let’s take a look at how Yabal applies some of these values to our structure and daily practices,
- Respect for the Environment. We are contributing to protect nature with naturally dyed environment friendly garments. We use local wool, recycled denim jeans and natural vegetable dyes.
- Fair payment: The women set their own prices, Yabal respects the prices that the women charge for their work.
- Opportunities for Disadvantaged Producers: Our artisans are indiginous mayan women from rural communities who face a variety of challenges such as sexism, racism, lack of education and many of them don’t speak much spanish.
- Capacity building: we also provide social programs for womens, their children and families.
- We build long term relationships, we’ve been working with the same artisans and their families for over 17 years. They are the heart of our mission.
Yabal works to provide women’s job opportunities that are generally marginalized from society.
We will continue working on promoting the empowerment of rural women artisans. It’s worthwhile to remember the importance of these artisanal woven products. The backstrap loom weaving it’s a pre-Hispanic practice and the usage of this ancestral weaving technique preserves a millenary culture. That’s why the designs and symbolism in every weaving, represent a symbol of indigenous resilience, and persistence of the Mayan culture through the ages.
Through Yabal, we are dedicated to using fair trade and sustainable fashion to empower women in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.