It’s 2018, which means that by now you’ve probably heard about the harmful effects of “fast fashion” on the environment and laborers. The fashion industry has seen a shift toward eliminating malpractices that made their garments cheaper to produce at the hands of workers, often overseas, just to keep up with new trends and consumers.
Slow fashion, a term coined by Kate Fletcher in an article for The Ecologist, is essentially the process of creating and using garments with regard to quality, longevity, and fair consumer prices based on the ethical treatment and pay of producers.
When we began our product development “2.0 phase” in search of the right Honduran fashion items to present to the international market, the use of Lenca textiles became indispensable. The Lenca people are an indigenous tribe of Central America (mostly Honduras and El Salvador regions), traced back to the pre-Columbian era. The population and culture has not been preserved in the same way as the Mayans’, for instance, but a significant population of Lenca people and descendants still form an important part of Honduran culture today.
While the Lenca language is now extinct, their culture has been preserved through the production of clay pottery as well as the iconic textiles you can find incorporated in our designs. The markings of Lenca fabric can be seen through their vibrant colors: bright fuchsias and golds, deep indigos and teals. But what makes these woven fabrics extra unique is the fact that they are handmade with old-school weaving looms by Lenca women and their descendants, in their own established environments. The process is slow- real slow- and most patterns are unique to each collective that creates them. This is why many Lenca items are considered “one-of-a-kind”.
The designers we have partnered with source their Lenca fabrics at FAIR prices set by the producers, and then incorporate each piece of fabric into original designs ranging from apparel to accessories to handbags- making sure that no inch of fabric goes to waste. This process allows for maximum creativity and commerce for both the producers and the designers, as well as a zero-waste model that is conscious of the environment. Another reason why we were sold on using Lenca fabrics? It is one of the few ways in which we can shift the global discourse of Central American people, particularly Lenca women in this case, and keep this beautiful and often underlooked aspect of Honduran culture alive.Ready to add a fashionably sustainable piece to your closet? Great! You can start right here :)