Friday 21 September 2012

A Tip Of The Hat For Pachacuti

In my day gig, the one I use to pay the mortgage and keep me in socks and beer (sadly, I have yet to be offered a pair of socks by Guru Ian, but hey, I live in hope), I get to look at a lot of archive film. One thing that's very noticeable in these, especially in the crowd scenes, was that not that long ago, almost everyone wore a hat. From the trilby to the flat cap, the bowler to the fedora, it used to be seen as a poor show not to be out and about without a titfer. 

Times have changed, and I for one think that's a shame. I do my bit, and am usually seen rocking a natty forage cap which gives me a brisk hint of Guevara-era revolutionary chic. But let's face it, we can all do better than the ubiquitous baseball cap. 

Long-time Twitter buddy of The Pier Pachacuti are out to change that trend with their brilliant range of Panama hats. Their new collection for spring and summer 2013 shows a real flair for both design and colour. The hats feature hand-embroidery, leatherwork and hand-made ribbons and come in vibrant shades of lemon, aqua and rose. 

The hats are made in the Andes of Ecuador, by a group of women's associations that are helping to keep the traditional skills of weaving and embroidery that are in danger of being forgotten. 

The artisans that work for Pachacuti are paid fairly and treated with respect for their skill and craft. This isn't surprising. Pachacuti is something of an innovator in the field of fair trade and sustainability. They were the first company in the world to be Fair Trade Certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation. They're a pilot for the EU Geo Fair Trade project, providing traceability and transparency through their supply chain. Their work in the field has led to a string of high-profile commendations, including the Observer Ethical Awards. 

In short, Pachacuti are doing everything right, and we offer a tip of the brim to them and their top hats. 

Well, panamas. You get the idea. 

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