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product life cycle
We place an order with the knitters and wire transfer their wages which are determined by the artisans themselves. The women travel 2.5 hours by bus to the nearest city to receive their payment. We are members of the Fair Trade Federation so our payment process adheres to the Fair Trade principles and practices.
The alpaca wool is sent on the bus from Lima to the town of Mayu’s knitters. It is an 8-hour bus ride from the coast up into the mountains. This trip is not for those prone to car sickness, lots of curves and cliffs. At least there is excellent Peruvian Huayno music on the bus.
The raw materials are carried from the small bus stop in their town to the artisans' workshop. The alpaca wool is prepped and wound into skeins and evenly distributed to the women so they can start knitting.
Mayu’s artisans knit in their own homes, on the street corners or wherever they like. They are excellent multi-taskers, able to care for their children, cook, attend school meetings and graze their cattle, all while knitting.
After each alpaca accessory is completed, they hand-wash (with baby shampoo) and dry the products in the Andean sun.
When ready, all orders are placed into large plastic, reusable potato sacks. One of the knitters takes the order to Lima by bus for shipment to Chicago. Keep in mind, the bags are almost the size of the women.
Once in Chicago, we iron, tag and ship orders to their respective new homes.
The new owners look super chic, hip and eco-fabulous in their Mayu alpacaothes. They receive one compliment after another and usually come back for more.