Crafted in an indigenous village 60 miles north of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, Carlos and Zoila create high quality wool hats. The hats are made of 100% wool that comes from sheep 150 miles south of their village. The wool is cleaned and processed into felt in a local mill that uses steam to matt down the fibers of the wool. The result is a piece of wool felt that is very strong and acts as an excellent water repellant.
The hat-making process takes many hours to complete. It all starts with a piece of wool felt in the shape of a cone, the material is coated in gelatin and compressed using industrial rollers to remove excess gelatin. An artisan – by the name of Elvis – then spends many hours steaming and shaping the woolen material over molds until it creates the crown of a hat. The material is then placed on another mold where the final shape of the crown is given. Once finishing touches are added to the hat, it is finally complete.
Carlos and Zoila have been providing jobs and healthcare for their local team for over 20 years now. The wages earned at their workshop is funding education for the worker's children as well as the workers themselves.
Equal Uprise is committed to advancing the development of Zoila & Carlos' business. This is why we're setting aside 10% of profits from the sale of each hat. These funds are being used to facilitate Business Development Projects for the workshop. We're currently in the process of organizing a workshop designed to help identify each artisan's unique skills as well as the group as a whole.