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BRAND[TRADE] works in partnership with different countries to design, develop, and market small product collections and media-driven consumer programs around the world. Designed to create greater understanding of the unique cultural economy of a nation, each initiative is intended to contribute directly to a country’s trade, development. BRAND[TRADE]’s goal is to contribute to the building of national brands, as a means to support trade and promote understanding between people and cultures around the world. BRAND[TRADE] partners with other global development and trade institutions, designers, creative agencies, media companies, retailers, businesses and NGO’s in order to build enduring links to market for global artisans.


In today’s multi polar, increasingly open marketplace, emerging countries have an opportunity to expand trade and build relationships around the world through their unique cultural heritage. Many trading partners and global consumers don’t yet have a true understanding of these nations unique cultures, or peoples. A significant barrier to trade, development and the building of strong relationships between governments, this lack of understanding and knowledge hinders development.


BRAND[TRADE] Peru is building artisanal trade specifically with the country of Peru as a means to showcase the country’s extraordinary cultural economy. In partnership with the Government of Canada, TFO Canada, Government of Peru and producer groups from across the country, the project focuses on the regions of Piura and Catacaos in the north, Cuzco in the highlands, Pucallpa in the Amazon Basin and Nuñoa in the Puno area of Lake Titicaca.


Peru has a unique history and heritage of hand weaving, traditionally prized by Incan people as of greater value than gold or silver. This lineage and respect for weaving has continued unbroken since Incan times, with the same practices and traditions passed down from mother to daughter over the centuries.


From the Puno Alitplano comes some of the finest weaving in the world. With 10,000 years of history raising alpaca, the region is renowned for its weaving and knitting. Many international designers produce their high-end knits in this region already. BRAND(TRADE) Peru produces cocooning knitted and woven accessories from naturally colored Alpaca here. The Shipibo people of Pucallpa, a city in the Peruvian Amazon, are known for their knowledge of the natural world, which they communicate through the textiles of the region. Working with locally cultivated cotton, the Pucalpa work with the spectacular red earth to color everything they make, including the graphic patterned bags and totes for BRAND(TRADE), as well as a range of beaded jewelry and accessories. The weavers of Catacaos weave the fine fibers of the toquilla palm into the finest baskets and hats, many with refined geographic patterns. The finest weavers in Incan times were brought to Cusco to spin and weave for the royal Incan court. These ancient communities in the Sacred Valley working with wool from llamas, alpaca and vicunia are the decsendents of these ancient royal weavers. Now producing a range of interior woven products from cushions, to throws and rugs, designed in collaboration with designers from across the Americas.


These four separate and unique creative undertakings spanning a range of materials, techniques and products, are presented under the single umbrella of BRAND(TRADE) peru. The design team responsible for their creation, is Handwork Studio, an initiative of Canadian designers, Munira Amin and Rachel MacHenry. With a global reach,  the studio provides design services for artisan-based production. Through a network of specialized crafts, the studio offers design consultation to a variety of artisan enterprises.  The studio operates at the intersection of craft, commerce, research and design, mobilizing skill and tradition to sustain local communities.  Handwork Studio is committed to design innovation through socially and environmentally sustainable methods.


Website: http://brandtrade.ca

Hanwork Studio: www.handwork-studio.com

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