Zuahaza

ABOUT ZUAHAZA

MISSION
We are a team of women from diverse cultural backgrounds sharing one national territory, and one common mission: to preserve and revitalize our traditional crafts through collaborative design and knowledge exchange.

OUR STORY
Zuahaza was founded by Tatiana Ordoñez in 2019 in Bogota, Colombia. In 2018, Tatiana made a trip to Charalá to learn about the rich history of cotton growing, spinning and weaving in this region. During her trip, she met with Corpolienzo, a cooperative of artisans. They decided to create a new line of textiles, born of the artisans’ extensive knowledge and of Tatiana’s desire to share creative, innovative textiles with the global market.

BEHIND THE NAME
Zuahaza means “my sister” in the Muisca language of the people who lived in the Cundiboyacense mountain region of Colombia. As a social enterprise, Zuahaza strives to embody collective sisterhood between women in Colombia. Following an era of intense conflict, which continues to shape and affect Colombia today, Zuahaza seeks to participate in the peacemaking efforts to reunite and heal our country.
Zuahaza strives to connect women from across Colombia, and to create unique products that reflect our diversity, history and dreams as statements of the unity and peace to come from Colombia. This is what sisterhood means to us.

Our Approach
We believe in the equal exchange of knowledge between our artisans and designers. We are advocates for collaboration and believe this is the only way to honor our ancestral traditions and embrace new ways of making. We believe that research through making is the only way to create innovative designs that are rooted in sustainable and fair trade values.

Our Values & Philosophy
To create sustainable employment for women artisans in Colombia by revitalizing the craft of making textiles and collaborating to innovate in product and design.

ORGANIC MATERIALS + SUSTAINABILITY
We value our earth and its resources. We advocate for a better textile industry of circularity. We believe in creating the most sustainable products we can by committing to only use organic materials and processes.

PRESERVATION + REVITALIZATION OF CRAFT
It is becoming harder for artisans to live by their craft with the mass globalization of textiles. We want to change this. We are committed to support artisan communities so they can continue to practice their traditional crafts in a modern society. We celebrate our national heritage and believe in a conscious consumerism that starts with recognizing and elevating the craftsman to a more dignified position in society.

FAIR TRADE
Our most important value. We believe in equality and want to walk it out in every step of our business model. We want to specially support women and advocate for equal pay. We want to take care of our team in the way we pay for their work, support them in their dreams, and create a safe space for them to grow in their careers and as people.

MINIMAL WASTE
Our products are made with organic, biodegradable materials; saving water and eliminating the negative impact of harsh chemicals on our soils. Still, there exists waste in every production step. Therefore, we commit to design with minimal waste in mind, so that by the end of the production stage, we have as little waste as possible. With any leftovers, we create smaller items out of the scrap fabrics and reutilize the small threads in fertilizers in our cotton farms. We are committing to grow in our knowledge of circulatory and aspire to become a zero production waste company in the near future.

CRAFT + TECHNOLOGY

Our design approach is a collaboration between handmade and technological techniques. We know there are struggles in competing in a fast-paced, machine-made world of goods, and although we strongly advocate for using artisanal techniques, we also embrace new technologies that will help our artisans to sustain their craft. New technologies might include newer tools for hand spinning, the aid of flying shuttles for weaving and better sewing machines for finishing products.