What if we started buying consciously, knowing exactly where and how our product is made?
Quinde believes that generating equal opportunities for artisans can not only potentiate the consciousness of consumption knowing who made your purchases, but also regenerate economy into a more inclusive system.
Quinde (hummingbird in the indigenous language, Kichwa): the free, constantly seeking for color and flowers, the hummingbird gives us the hope of an endless spring. The smallest of birds but with the biggest impact on our ecosystem. Quinde comes from the Inca empire. Our clients are hummingbird-like, always on the move with versatile handmade wear and jewelry, always seeking for colors that make you shine.
In order to deliver quality handcrafted products imported all the way from Ecuador to Europe, we first focus on building a solid community of artisans from indigenous groups throughout the highlands of Ecuador. This process allows us to sustain the labor and legacy that families have carried for decades. Handicrafts in the indigenous communities date back to the Incan empire, where prime materials such as sheep wool has been used to keep warmth, colors in textiles have been used to differentiate tribes, and seeds have been used in jewelry for energetic purposes.
The colonization era and thus further industrialization have shifted the way tradition is carried from generation to generation, in some cases cultural legacy has even vanished. Quinde works in identifying families that want to maintain their legacy in making artisanal products.
“Handcrafts build bonds, build sorority, creates tradition and memory” – Paty, product design
Bridging culture across the world is our passion, we want you to think of community when using our products. Carefully designed to give you a hummingbird-like sensation. We have identified families that want to carry their legacy through generations. These families of artisans generate communities that help one another to prevail and have a sustainable economy. Martita, Luis, José, Mr. Hidalgo, Rosario, and Andres all come from different provinces from the Ecuadorian Andes; yet all have a same purpose, maintain indigenous memory through their art.
By purchasing our products, you are creating a stronger community, and impacting the lives of many artisans who dedicate their lives to keep culture and Ecuadorian art alive. We work closely with our providers in providing fare wages.
THE BEST NATURAL RESOURCE IN ECUADOR IS NOT PETROLEUM
Here is a list of natural resources we utilize in our statement pieces; our main pillar is to collaborate with indigenous communities from the Andes and obtain a supply of the best quality materials. We hand pick them, we strategically select colors, textures and shapes.
- Sheep wool: indigenous communities have sheep as companions that if given good care, they provide the best wool. Once the wool is shaved off from the sheep, communities make sure to protect the sheep from the cold. The wool is then finely strung into stick combs. We receive our wool from several points across the Andes.
- Natural dyes: Our textiles and patterns are made from wool that has been treated with plants, seeds and flowers. This ancestral technique can be done as bundle dying, or simmering; it has such a specialized technique that will prevail the colors for years, if not ask the mamas and taitas wearing the same ponchos for generations.
- Totora: derived from the Quechua word t’utura, is commonly know as a type of bulrush. When dried and naturally treated its stem can be used even to build a house. This material is weaved into some of our beautiful handbags and purses. We receive our treated totora from Luis, a family in Otavalo.
- Clay Iron: Iron that is worked in a technique that makes the material bendable and resistant for hot and cold drinks. This type of dishware is rarely found, as the communities that used to produce it have been slowly disappearing. We work with a family in Tigua, Cotopaxi province in the highlands. It is said to be this is one of the last remaining families to work with clay iron.
- Toquilla Straw: This is a plant that grows all across Ecuador, however the techniques to preserve it are only perfected by few communities in the Andes. The plant is often worked with crocheting techniques. Our toquilla providers come from Cuenca.
- Seeds: Collected in the amazon, and some in the Andes; these seeds have power within them. Communities carefully identify and dry them to then use them as ornaments on several products. Seeds are known to provide protection and to replenish energy.
- Tagua: This is a natural resource that replaces illegal trafficking of elephant ivory around the world. It is a seed derived from a palm tree that grows uniquely in Ecuador. The tagua seed is polished and worked in a way that you obtain much similar final product as elephant ivory. This is also known as vegan ivory.
- Faja: This is a textile that has been handmade with ancient techniques known as loom weaving.
Knowing our intention is important, if this reading was insightful for you, share it with your loved ones.