Concha Orvañanos left the world of finance and redirected her talents to start Collectiva Concepción in 2011. What began as a humble motivation to uplift her traditional Mexican culture and people, turned into a commendable enterprise, debunking the notion that fair, sustainable luxury fashion can’t be produced on a mass scale.
Collectiva works with at-risk indigenous communities in Mexico, giving them a path to employment without having to sacrifice their traditional craft and practice. She partnered with a nonprofit called “Arroz Con Leche”, to build a holistically sustainable business model and gain access to a sensitive community without disturbing its ecosystem.
Every Collectiva piece is designed to accentuate traditional Mexican patterns and styles, while still working for the cosmopolitan woman. Think romantic, dreamy silhouettes, soft, earthy colors woven on a traditional pedal loom and dyed using pre-Hispanic natural dying techniques or “grana cochinilla”.
The Pedal Loom was brought to Mexico by the Spanish Conquistadores in the 16th century. These massive wooden structures were usually operated by men because of their sheer size and width and takes a team effort. Because of its large structure and design, it allows for the creation of fabrics of varying sizes and widths. Some of the most intricate patterns you’ll see in your Collectiva pieces have been woven on a traditional pedal loom, in Pátzcauro, Mexico.
The loom requires perfectly synchronized movement, like a dance between the hands, feet and fabric. The long threads require an incredible upper body strength. Who would’ve thought weaving is a workout?
Collectiva works with 8 artisans, and each creation incorporates the artisan's traditional motifs and designs. Sustainably sourced, handmade with love, Collective Concepcion is a dream brand, giving voice, life and dignity to an art and people at risk of fading out. A percentage of all their sales go directly into these communities and help support women-led micro economies.
Beautiful pieces, handcrafted to perfection, fair trade and entirely sustainable, Concha shows us how necessary and possible it is to build a business that feeds back life into the economy, environment, culture and dignity of local, at-risk communities.
We are thrilled to house and support a thriving socially conscious enterprise that gives us the gift of clothes with a story. Click here to shop!