Ankura is a new Peruvian brand which embraces the culture of the fashion sustainability. This label focuses on empowering Peruvian artisan communities and small local workshops using natural fibers such as organic cotton, pima cotton and baby alpaca for their carefully designed pieces. Its main objective is to spread its philosophy and make the people understand that fashion and environment are compatible. Gustavo Espinoza, the founder of the brand, tell us about this project.
Tell us something about your brand
I came up with this idea 2 years ago. In the previous years, I have had worked with some NGOs and Peruvian communities but I wanted to be part of a bigger change to create a larger impact through the reformation of the Peruvian fashion industry, establishing a win-win relationship between the brand and the local workers. Here in Peru we have many different and quality fibers and our artisans are very talented. The best way to improve the Peruvian fashion industry is empowering these artisan communities and local workers by promoting ethical work practices and generating fruitful partnerships in the process.
Which type of clothes do you produce? And what materials are you using?
When we started Ankura we wanted to design outstanding baby alpaca clothing and that’s why we chose to produce something different than the typical alpaca sweater. We designed pieces such as dresses, outerwears and skirts made of baby silk, which combines the soft elegance of the baby alpaca and the smoothness of the mulberry silk. The baby silk fiber is lighter than normal baby alpaca and feels more delicate to the touch. Our last pieces were made of natural fibers such as pima cotton and organic cotton, which have a magnificent quality and are very comfortable. With this materials we have design feminine flattering tops, dresses and skirts. Our collections offer a timeless, essential and lasting over time pieces.
What are your production techniques? What is their impact on the environment?
Our production techniques depend on which garment are we talking about. For example, our Georgia skirt, one of the key pieces of the Andean Mod Collection, is created in a waist hand loom by Peruvian artisans in a very detailed process that can take up to 3 days of work. By working with this ancestral community we will be able to help them develop into a brighter future by creating jobs with fair wages and recognition for the excellent work they do. Other pieces, such as our Ilana Top, made of organic cotton are produced in small local workshops. Some of the many benefits of the organic cotton is that it can reduce up to 90% of the water consumption in the production process due its efficient irrigation system and it doesn’t involve the use of pesticides. All these factors make the organic cotton one of the most sustainable fabrics for the fashion industry. The baby alpaca fibers have also a much lower environmental impact than the cachemire fibers, because of their eating habits and their softly tread on the ground. This alpacas eat little, without taking the gras roots, and that’s why the land remains fertile. The baby alpaca fabrics are obtained through a shearing process that takes place once a year and that doesn’t harm the alpacas in any way.
What are the cornerstones of this brand?
Ankura is a new Peruvian brand which embrace a culture of fashion sustainability. Our main purpose is to bring positive change and progress through the creation of a new and improved fashion industry that promotes responsible brands, good practices and education for the future. That’s why we source locally our materials and partner with small local workshops and artisan communities supporting the micro entrepreneurs and learning alongside them. We carefully research every step in our chain production investigating our environmental impact, that’s why we use natural fibers such as baby alpaca, pima cotton and organic cotton, which have a lower impact in the environment. Ankura is a way of living, a sustainable one in which women are independent, modern, self confident, strong and very sexy but also highly educated about their impact in the society. Our pieces are design for a multitasking todays woman.
What are your plans for the future?
In the near future, we are about to launch a crowdfunding project in Indiegogo during November and December to reach funds and continue growing as a sustainable Brand. We want to enter further with the final consumer, because we started as a B2B business, and be recognized as a different alternative and an eco-fashion Brand. We also want to consolidate in USA and UK. In a long term vision we want to consolidate in more European countries and grow as a company. This way we will be able to work new projects with more Peruvian communities and, therefore, create a greater impact. We want to change the way the Peruvian fashion industry works and prove that fashion and sustainability don’t have to be antagonist, and give back to the locals.