Tula Signature Weaver Spotlight: Girasol
For the Tula Signature collection, we carefully select weavers and textile companies that align with our design aesthetic and our company values—early on in the process of making woven carriers we knew that Girasol was a clear fit. Partnering with local artisans, small workshops and independent weavers in Guatemala and Mexico, Girasol produces beautiful, handwoven wraps that celebrate the artistry and craftsmanship of their weavers while providing sustainable wages and fair trade working conditions.
Some fun facts about our history with Girasol
We began using Girasol woven wraps for our Signature woven carriers in 2012, shortly after our first wrap conversion carrier was made.
Number of Unique Girasol Tula Carriers Designs (not including weft and weave variations) – 85+
Tula Fan Faves
|Girasol Vice Versa||Girasol Lane||Girasol Double Rainbow|
As one of our longest partnerships, we are able to offer Girasol woven wrap conversion carriers as part of our rotating Signature collection and as part of our limited edition releases.
Read on to learn more about why we love working with Girasol!
Weaving has a long, incredibly robust tradition in Guatemala and Mexico which is taught from generations past and continues to the present. It can be seen on clothing and other decorative and practical items. Many assume that the intricate textiles used for our Girasol wrap conversion carriers are machine woven but in fact, all of the fabric we receive from Girasol starts as hand dyed threads on a loom.
Similar to some of our most rare “fancy” woven carriers in the Signature collection, Girasol textiles are 100% handmade from start to finish. The 100% cotton yarn is dyed by hand and the designs are woven by hand. Since 1983, Girasol has contracted with weavers to create their woven wraps on larger free-standing looms, rather than the backstrap looms typically used by Mayan women to create traditional weavings. Throughout the process, a lot of hands are involved: cotton yarn is purchased and dyed by hand; the dried yarn is then transported to the village where the looms are and woven; the fabric is washed; and then local tailors take over and create either wraps or carriers. Mostly male artisans weave the woven material used for Girasol. However, female weavers are also involved in creating bags, purses and key fobs from the Girasol fabric.
100% Fair Trade
For over 30 years that Girasol has been in business, they have maintained fair trade relationships with their partners in Guatemala and Mexico. Fair trade promotes the well-being of workers and demands higher standards that put people and the planet first. For example, Girasol pays their partners in advance and their partners can rely on consistent, assured income, even during difficult times. A guaranteed income provides the opportunity to maintain traditional craft and knowledge for future generations.
Beyond their ongoing work, Girasol provides additional assistance when needed. For instance, last year, when the Fuego volcano erupted, they donated a portion of their month’s revenue to an organization doing relief work on-site, Medico International.
Girasol incorporates sustainable practices into their business, from production to sales. They try to do their part for the environment through some key initiatives:
- Avoid clippings or recycle scraps to create other pieces
- Do not use outer packaging or advertising material to minimize waste
- Use adhesive tape made from paper, fully recyclable cardboard boxes and avoid plastic
Our ongoing partnership with Girasol has allowed us to create exclusive designs and utilize some incredibly beautiful textiles from Girasol to include in our rotating collection. For the introduction of our new name, the Signature collection, we wanted to do something that not only celebrates the Guatemalan weavers and artisans who create textiles for our woven carriers but, also directly impact their community in a positive way.
In a micro batch, we’ve created wrap conversion carriers that feature fabric with traditional woven fabric created by Guatemalan weavers. This beautiful material is paired with Girasol designed woven material to create Tula woven carriers that will partially benefit the organization, Mayan Families. For each one of these specialty carriers that is sold, we will help fund their Family Aid program, providing essential medicine for students in need.
We see these specific carriers as an opportunity to educate our community about the people and longstanding traditions that allow us to craft our woven carriers. And, along with our ongoing collaboration with Girasol that allows for sustainable fair trade practices, these carriers will provide a very special service to the community that the material comes from.
We want to send a big THANK YOU to Gerhard of Girasol for providing photos and additional information for this blog. You can stay up to date on all Tula news, woven carrier or not, through Facebook, Instagram, and by signing up for our newsletter.