“Clothes aren’t going to change the world, the women who wear them will.” —Anne Klein
Woven Futures started with a goal to help Guatemalan women in need. They now empower indigenous artisan women around the globe, while creating designs inspired by nature using no chemicals. Woven Futures is a woman-owned and founded company, based out of Florida and Guatemala. They’re an ethical women’s fashion company at face value, but their ethics and passion goes way beyond just fashion. They partner with skilled artisans from Guatemala (and soon other parts of the world) who design and craft the products by hand, and incorporate traditional woven designs into their pieces.
The artisans take inspiration from planet Earth for designs. They use all-natural materials to form colors and patterns. The dyes that are used are all plant-based, eliminating all chemicals in the process. They use plants such as carrots, rosemary, basil and strawberries to create the unique and vibrant colors you see in their pieces.
They take advantage of white and brown cotton so that they are able to create dye-free threads, and the plants are used for any other desired dyes. All the products are made by hand and they do not use any machinery- which helps to keep their carbon footprint down. What’s even cooler is their unique process in which the threads are set in boiling water and soaked for several days, this means that no two items are alike.
We spoke to Hannah King, Founder and CEO who splits her time between Florida and Guatemala. Her journey with sustainability really began when she started her company. “I was never really aware of the impact our clothing had on the planet, until I started Woven Futures.” Hannah tells us she really became passionate, and noticed the lack of sustainability in some of the larger clothing brands. They have been designing their own products for two years now and work with over 60 artisans, supporting them financially and emotionally through recent tough times.
Hannah was shopping at a market in Guatemala to bring gifts back to her friends at school. She purchased a beautiful embroidered bag from an artisan who kept offering more discounts for Hannah to buy more items, she was saying ‘you name the price.’ Hannah soon realised that even though these women had the skills to create these pieces, they didn’t have the resources to sell the products. An idea came to Hannah to purchase several items and take them back to the US to sell, to help these women, and it soon developed into the business that we see today.
The brand started off with simple style cloth bags before expanding into producing cosmetic bags, which are perfect for travelling.
The scrunchies have become very popular recently, and it only takes a minute to look through the fashion mags to know how on-trend these currently are. The products are mainly multi-usage and timeless pieces that do not necessarily fit ‘what’s on trend.’
Hannah travelled to Guatemala back in March to spend some time working with the artisans, and the country shut down three days later due to Covid-19. “Our flights were cancelled so we were weaving threads every day as we had nothing else to do.” During quarantine, she has in fact been saving all of her avocado trimmings. Why? Apparently they make a great pink color that can be used in her products.
A relaunch of their brand is also coming soon, with a whole new collection that takes their artisan skills to a whole new level. Hannah and her team are also planning on helping their artisans become their own entrepreneurs by teaching them how to create their own websites. “Technology is advancing everywhere, and I think that’s a skill that is really valuable.”
Woven Futures have plans to launch their own shops, but for now you can shop the range here.