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OUR DIARY | Ethical Fashion Brand Minimising Impact through Artisanship

Artisanship and Fashion connect to create plant fibre crafts
Wichi Women in Northern Argentina

As a social impact business within the fashion industry, we believe strongly in the responsibility to ethical, social, environmental and political elements of production. To do our part in the conversation we are taking a deeper dive into what sustainable fashion really means today.

Anyone with an interest in fashion and craft, no matter how large, would have heard the term “artisan”. If you’re part of the sustainable fashion community this label's familiarity increases. In this circle, the label indicates more than just a high price, it represents durability, empowerment and environmental commitment. 

In a world oversaturated with brands that have weak supply chain links and contribute to the fast fashion industry, artisanship can act as a breath of fresh air. Handmade craft within the fashion industry is important because it represents a brand with connection and one that is working towards more ethical practices.

Unlike mass production, handmade pieces are artisanship products, the slow and deliberate art of working with one’s bare hands. Working within this manner is not only beneficial for you, but for the environment too. Slow fashion is an important “pillar” of sustainability as consumers increasingly are encouraged to buy more ethical items.

Chaguar Plant being cooked

Artisanship is the Model for Slow Fashion

By exploring issues related to ethical fashion production and artisanship, we can better see the holistic picture of why cultivating a relationship between the two is so vital today. Ethical and sustainable brand Casapacha is doing exactly that by working with sustainable fabrics and through ethical supply chains.

By way of a brief explanation, the chaguar fibre is a plant tapestry, hand-woven on hand-made looms by the Wichi indigenous communities in northern Argentina. For numerous generations, the Wichi women have crafted an incredible skill of obtaining the chaguar fibre from tough leaves. The talented artisans create beautiful, ethical and sustainable products which are created during a long process of collection, hand-dying, spinning, weaving and sewing.

The Wichi women knit baskets, bags and textiles from the native chaguar fibre plant. They live in accordance with nature, seeking inspiration from flora and fauna. Knowledge sharing relative to the environment is performed through practice, direct observation and experience. Women collect in groups, the chaguar plant 6-months in a year and in this very way they pass along the chaguar economy and tradition.

Wichi Artisan Woven Bags
Livelihood, Empowerment and Tradition

Many businesses beyond just the fashion industry are now using the UN Sustainable Development Goals to transform a more fair, ethical and viable value system. According to the UNDP, investing in women’s empowerment is an essential component to combating poverty, sustaining artisanship and ultimately maintaining an ethical production.  

Crafts provide employment and livelihood to a large number of people living in rural villages and help alleviate the poverty levels. It ensures that the artisans skilled in their traditions do not leave these in search of alternate income opportunities. The protection and preservation of
traditional artisanship, such that they maintain a viable livelihood is of grave importance. With a mission to empower women and give them a dignified life through sustaining their livelihoods, SIWAN’I is one such group aiming to enhance the Wichi community.

At Casapacha, there is a connection to maintain cultural heritage and revive lost traditions, by supporting artisans in remote Argentina to produce quality artisan products. The Chaguar plant has therefore become a sustainable, eco-friendly material with deep connections to the Argentinian Wichi communities.

Artisanal work is integral to the heritage of humanity. So as consumers, choosing to purchase artisanal products, not only makes a difference to individual lives and surrounding environments but to the overarching societal tapestry of life. 

Wichi Women with Chaguar Woven Baskets

Scroll through our Chaguar Collection to shop unique, one of a kind baskets, bags and accessories with thoughtful fabrics.


By Imogen Abandowitz-Luckhardt - A blogger, and freelance writer. You can find Imogen on her website.