Monday, December 17, 2012

Ccorca talent quest with the Amantani team

On the 7th of December we had the opportunity to visit Ccorca, Peru to attend a Talent Quest put on by the village for the children of the area with the goal of providing an opportunity for the children to express themselves through song, poetry, crafts and photography.

 We were picked up by the incredibly welcoming and informative Teresa from non-profit organization, Amantani, who filled us in on the problems facing the area of Cusco and the children that live there. Amantani is focused on providing housing for children that have to walk up to 8 hours a day to attend school, one of the major issues the locals are faced with. It was a bumpy one-hour drive through breath-taking scenery, taking us above 3300 meter high Cusco and into the heart of the Andes. Beautiful children were spotted between long grass after we had passed the last humble housings constructed mainly of recycled elements. Our questions regarding the origins of these building elements were quickly answered when Teresa explained that waist management for the whole Cusco area consisted of a mountain of garbage! Unfortunately it happened to be on our path and even though it was made quite a colourful addition to the landscape the reality was quite devastating. There hadn’t even been a hole dug in the ground and the colossal mound was starting to overflow down the mountainside.

Not wanting to dwell on the negative we continued our journey and Teresa pointed out half covered Inca trails and Potato and Choclo crops beautifully integrated into the mountains (the Inca’s philosophy was to decorate the landscape through farming rather than damaging it). As we descending into the town of Ccorca on a dirt track we were blown away by the stunning cliffs that surround the town. Upon arriving we were taken directly to the first home called Illapas (ray of light), which accommodates 21 children from the age of 3 to 5. It was very cute with a colourful Mural and mini kitchen. Here Marleny, Mariza and Tania (the girls that run the centres) explained how the day panned out for the kids, their time divided between school, chores and extra activities.  We then went to check out the other two centres chaskas (stars) accommodating 19 girls from the age of 6-12 and finally the Tikas boarding house catering for 17 of the oldest children from the age of 12 through to 17. At each centre one of the gorgeous children showed us around and explained how it all worked from cooking through to cleaning, to school and the highlight, the circulo: where the individuals can share anything they like from the day in hand.

 Now it was time to hit the Talent quest. We arrived and the local towns people were piling in on packed trucks and anything else that moved faster than their own feet. There was everything from young girls holding small lambs, to shaggy dogs and of course the locals in their stunning outfits. We visited the Amantani stands and couldn’t believe the quality of the products the children had made, with everything from candles to bracelets to Christmas cards. We both went about doing our Christmas shopping while simultaneously donating to a great cause. Unfortunately only an hour in to the song and poetry contest the skies went from blue to grey and it started pouring rain. This rain then quickly turned into hail and everybody ran for cover. The rain didn’t let up for about two hours but despite the cold and damp the smiles kept coming and nobody seemed phased in the slightest. When the skies finally cleared the talent quest started up as though nothing had happened. 

It was an incredibly inspiring day and we would like to thank all the Amantani team that were so generous with their time. We have plans for a collaboration with Amantani and will keep you all posted once things are finalized. Part of the reason for the trip was to get a deeper insight into their philosophy and way of working. Amantani is overflowing with creative freedom in our eyes which is why we want to team up with them and their wonderful children in the near future. We believe in their cause and want to help them achieve their goals.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Peruvian Inspiration

patternsAlli de GallinaCollage in a boxChoclo Variations

Peruvian Inspiration, a set on Flickr.

Peruvian Manufacturing

local Lima Manufacturersmiling sewersit wouldn't be complete without a picture of Jesus

Peruvian Manufacturing, a set on Flickr.
a visit to a very inspiring and professional local manufacturer in the heart of Lima

Friday, December 7, 2012

Local manufacturing in Peru

Visiting a local manufactuer in Lima, Peru. Great team, awesome atmosphere and impressive workmanship.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our new partner in Peru - MUNDO DE NINOS

NOTE: This column follows on from our last post.

The project started in 2001 in the resort town of Huanchaco, facing the Pacific Ocean, with the purpose of offering the children coming from a streets of Trujillo and Huanchaco a healthy environment that contributes to facilitate their process of resocialization. When a new child enters the home he will learn the rules and regulations and will learn to live in a group, which helps in leaving behind his antisocial behavior. The child’s integration into life in the home is helped by the multidisciplinary team: teachers, psychologists, social workers and also by teacher workshops and a varied program of activities. At this stage it is also very important to stabilize the child and keep him away from drugs (for those with an addiction).
The home provides social and psychological services at the beginning of the treatment program including an assessment of the child’s care, satisfaction of basic needs, a psychological and social evaluation, as well as dynamic participation in the everyday life in the home. Educational and training activities are also held during the productive workshops.

After stability has been achieved the children begin to make contact with the outside world by returning to school. According to their progress they also begin technical training. It is important to note that at this stage the children discover their academic, working and creative potential helping them to increase their motivation for a change and drives the process of stabilization and identification at the home. 

- Andreas Clamer, Founder.

We are really happy to be working with Mundo de Ninos and the opportunity to spend 2 months in the centre getting inspired by the children, the rich textile culture and organic farming tradition and coming back with a designed and developed collection.
the inauguration of Mundo de Ninos (world of children) with Andreas Clamer

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


In Peru childhood is one of the most vulnerable and unprotected periods of the life. Two thirds of children under the age of 5 live in poverty and 2 out of 10 live in extreme poverty. Similarly, 4% of children aged between 5 and 11 years do not attend school. More than 54% of the population lives in poverty or in extreme poverty meaning children and adolescents are at great risk. 

Street children and adolescents in Trujillo are minors in social risk who live in deplorable conditions on public roads where they eat, sleep, steal, sniff glue ”Terokal”, make bets, establish relationships, have children and are victims of labor and sexual exploitation. 92% of these children consume drugs and alcohol. This critically affects their mental and physical health. These children come from dysfunctional families with major economic problems, are far more likely to drop out of school, and are often victims of abuse and violence. They are children and adolescents who, for the most part, have ”escaped” from their home. Their personality is characterized by low self esteem, frustration, irritability, deficits in self-control, distrust of others, problems with authority and exacerbation of sexuality and aggression. What can we do?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cover Shot OM Magazine - September edition

It is turning out to be quite a year for us with our third cover shot in OM Magazine. A really fun photo that just makes you feel good.

As usual the photo was taken by Danylo Bobyk, the talented yoga photograher based out of Montreal. You can check out his work at

top model: Gen Larocque
styles: Keanna top and Camino pant

bottom model: Kimiko Fujimoto
styles: Inspired top and Ruth pant

Thanks for all the support OM magazine, Danylo and the models Gen and Kimiko

Sunday, July 15, 2012