When it comes to purchasing hammocks we have partnered with a quality company in Merida, Mexico who consistently produce high-quality hammocks while also maintaining Fair Trade principles. Our hammocks are not made by faceless Mexican's in factories sprawled across the country. They are all handmade in the town of Merida, its surrounding suburbs and small villages spread through the state of Yucatan by Mayan Indian families.
Our hammock weavers are provided with the required cords of material (nylon and cotton) and a hammock making frame at their own place of residence at no cost to them.
Sometimes they are provided with requested custom colour patterns, but they are often free to choose their own hammock colours and patterns. This results in brilliant unique hammocks and allows the weavers to express themselves and showcase their skill.
Through working from home this allows them to work their own hours and look after family when necessary. Working from the home also enables them to teach their expert skills to their children (don't worry we don't have children working for us!) helping to keep the skilled tradition of Mayan hammock making alive. The weaving of a hammock is a practised skill and takes a long time to perfect. Being able to keep this tradition alive is a great benefit to all.
Completed hammocks are collected by our company representatives and weavers are paid fairly on the spot. The hammocks are then brought to our suppliers' store in Merida Centro. Here they are then hung and expertly check over, folded and weighed prior to any being sent onwards to us in New Zealand. Any defects or problems are fixed on the spot by the expert weavers working in the store.
A great benefit of this system is that provides sustainable working opportunities in areas where employment is often hard to come by. Weavers are skilled craftsperson and are not burdened by business loans or the need to purchase stock, but can focus on working and supporting their family. The non-profit arm of our supplier also runs yearly programs in the small villages in which their weavers work. The social program involves teaching adults and children alike; language, reading, writing, healthcare and providing mentoring programs alongside local universities. Fun activities like football and basketball tournaments are also organised.
So when it comes time to purchase your next hammock you can feel confident that your purchase is also helping to drive social change and improve lives in often impoverished areas of Mexico.