Pachacuti - Small Company of the Year, Highly Commended 2011

Small Company of the Year
Highly Commended 2011

Pachacuti was founded in 1992 with the aim of creating a successful fashion and accessories company built on the foundation of Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable business practices.

 

Today Pachacuti is recognised as one of the foremost ethical fashion companies in the UK is dedicated to empowering rural Andean women who are economically, geographically and socially marginalised.  In the first 2.5 years they have already started exporting to 13 new countries and through a financial climate Pachacuti's turnover has increased at 19-20% per annum in the last two years.

Impacts

We are very motivated because Pachacuti has helped to motivate us personally as owners and as workers and we help our workers by paying a fair price...

- Martha Fuentes and Amado Cuasqui,
Owners of Confecciones Curi, Ibarra, Ecuador

The story

Pachacuti was founded in 1992 with the aim of creating a successful fashion and accessories company built on the foundation of Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable business practices. The business is recognised foremost as a Panama hat company and is creating a complementary range of travel goods and alpaca accessories.

In December 2009 Pachacuti became the first company in the world to be Certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation against the Fair Trade Sustainable Management System (SFTMS). 

The SFTMS certifies that an organisation has a proven set of practices, procedures and processes which demonstrate social, economic and environmental responsibility. The SFTMS  represents important progress within the fashion industry where supply chains are complex and added value is not determined predominantly by raw materials but by the many processes involved in the creation of the finished article.

The SFTMS framework enables the business to target resources and capacity building activities exactly where they are most needed. Every year Pachacuti measure progress against Indicators and issue a Fair Trade Report.

Pachacuti is now helping to refine the system and ensure the replicability for supply chains which work with marginalised producers around the world. 

"We are very motivated because Pachacuti has helped to motivate us personally as owners and as workers and we help our workers by paying a fair price.  Pachacuti has given us the best interpersonal training... They have been an integral support as much in work as in the social and family realm... looking out for the wellbeing of the employees, acquiring a medical box, the correct disposal of waste so it doesn’t contaminate the environment."

Martha Fuentes and Amado Cuasqui

Owners of Confecciones Curi, Ibarra, Ecuador

award logo

Impact

Business Impact

  • In a difficult financial climate Pachacuti's turnover has increased at 19-20% per annum in the last two years.
  • In terms of press representation, Pachacuti was featured once in mainstream press pre-SFTMS in 2008, compared to 11 times in 2009 and 14 in 2010, ranging from Vogue to The Daily Telegraph to National Geographic.
  • Pachacuti has been working towards expanding exports to a further 10 countries as part of a 3 year SFTMS plan. However, in the first 2.5 years they have already started exporting to 13 new countries.
  • Pachacuti is seen as a very desirable company to work for and a job advert in January resulted in applicants from around the world.

Social and Environmental Impact

  • In 2009 Pachacuti spent $800 on glasses and cataract operations for La Esperanza embroidery group. In 2010 the budget increased to $1040 for Panama hat weavers.
  • In 2010 Pachacuti began a partnership with St Oswalds church and two primary schools to raise money for glasses and cataract operations for their producers. 45 pairs of glasses were purchased in 2010 through Sunglasses for Glasses days
  • Pachacuti has provided work placements for several fashion students from Derby University, including hands-on experience in South America, internships (6 weeks - 6 months) for business students and work-experience for secondary school pupils.
  • Training has been provided to all producer groups about best practice with regard to the environment, recycling, minimising water usage and reducing waste.