The London-based bespoke, handmade textile brand, KOUA Studio has confirmed a new collaboration with sustainable American clothing brand Yomisma which will see it generating a stable income for talented indigenous female artisans in Mexico.
Yomisma is a slow fashion brand focused on self-expression, self- awareness, self-care and self-love. It designs versatile, ultra-soft attire that easily transitions from day to night for those who value individualism. The brand is derived from passion for the planet and for people, with its signature design, the duster, crafted using recycled water bottles removed from the world’s oceans.
Yomisma’s off the shoulder Carmen duster features embroidery handmade on a waist loom by KOUA STUDIO’S women artisans from the Tsotsil community in San Andrés Larráinzar, Chiapas, Southern Mexico. The new collaboration between KOUA STUDIO and Yomisma will see KOUA’s team in Mexico creating a series of deluxe new textile designs for Yomisma’s summer collection, which will be available at Wolf and Badger in London, LA and New York.
Each handmade textile being developed for the collaboration takes one artisan approximately one hundred hours to create. Each talented craftsperson receives a fair and stable income for their work.
KOUA STUDIO founder, Erika Alvarez said, “We’re delighted to collaborate with Yomisma, a brand which shares very similar values to our own. With this collaboration we are creating a minimum monthly salary for our female artisans. That’s a big motivation for me personally to continue to encourage brands to collaborate with us. It’s a perfect way to eradicate poverty but to fight against inequality. It is one of my goals as a leader to generate a monthly stable income to impact on a bigger scale in the artisan’s life.
“At the same time we are also teaching them on how to charge for their work, value their art, the cultural heritage that is behind their pieces and how they too have the power to change a broken system.”
To further KOUA STUDIO’s mission, CEO Erika Alvarez has enrolled in the Women Leading Change: Shaping Our Future course at the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cambridge. This will help to deepen her knowledge of the systematic challenges women around the world face.
“The course I’m taking will help me to make a greater contribution to transformational change in society, with a particular focus on local towns in my home country of Mexico,” she added. “In this course I will develop a leadership action plan to achieve my aim of leading change and shaping the future of indigenous women, helping them to fight against inequality and exclusion while also supporting the preservation of culture, reducing poverty and furthering female empowerment.”
KOUA STUDIO textiles have featured in a number of fashion collections and are a favourite of interior designers championing ethics, sustainability and inclusion.