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Before they are bags: appreciating the origin of each textile

(pictured, huipiles from Chichicastenango)

 

Here at Hiptipico, we pride ourself on uniqueness and authenticity! Every Hiptipico product is 100% handmade and has the human touch of the weaver and maker in each stitch. We know about each textile in the market and share with you the name and origin of each huipil. This is what makes our products uniquely charming and distinct from factory-made accessories! No two are exactly same and imperfections are to be expected and appreciated.

Learn how we are thoughtful about our production in this IGTV video. 

Sustainable sourcing can take many forms, here in Guatemala the most crucial element to us in finding the line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation.

(pictured, Alyssa and Dona Juana with a huipil from Quetzaltenango)

How do we do that you ask?

We go direct to the source! We have asked all of the women we source from, all of the women who weave for us and other indigenous women on our local staff their opinion on foreigners buying, wearing, using, cutting, altering traditional textiles. We always get an overwhelming positive response! They are PROUD that an outsider would even want to fly all the way to Guatemala to cherish their art. BUT it is always followed by the next most crucial aspect, as long as they pay fairly. A fair wage is more important to the women weavers and artisans we work alongside. A fair wage means they can sell one huipil and earn enough money to purchase thread to create another two or three or more. They recycle their used huipiles in order to craft new ones and it works for them!

We as an ethical brand, want it to be more than that! We want our followers, supporters, onlookers to also learn and appreciate each textile a little deeper. For us, it is important to give credit to the region, origin and heritage of the huipiles we purchase! When we know the weaver, we ask permission before repurposing her huipil on a bag.

Watch our video on instagram with our artisans seeing their huipil on a bag!

 

(pictured, Alyssa learning about rare huipiles with Dona Rosa, the eldest market res-seller in Panajachel.)

And when we don't know the weaver, we do our best to value each textile as a piece of art. We ask questions at the market and preserve the information the traditional "abuelitas" grandmas share with us. And, if we see a rare huipil, we don't purchase it to cut up and make a bag. We purchase it to preserve its integrity and keep it as part of our "permanent collection"! By creating a permanent collection of huipiles, we hope to preserve one-of-a-kind pieces of art that could never be replicated. These pieces will never be cut up or used as a commercial piece. Just admired as art on a hanger. In doing this, we are hoping to find a sustainable and honest way of engaging with second-hand unique textiles here in Guatemala... honoring the weaver, her art and creativity even if we are not sure who she is!

Learn more about our sourcing and ethical practices in this IGTV video!

(pictured, Alyssa with Dona Maria, admiring an extremely rare huipil purchased directly from the weaver in Quiejel, Quiche, Guatemala. Part of our permanent collection.)

Want to learn more about the origin of some huipiles? Keep reading!

 

Chajul, Ixil, Guatemala (part of our permanent collection)

Nahualá, Guatemala

Zunil, Guatemala

San Juan Cotzal, Guatemala

Cobán, Guatemala  

Market: Panajachel, Guatemala 

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