Working Respectfully With Indigenous Artisans

Working Respectfully With Indigenous Artisans

Maud Lerayer Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Founder of New York-based ethical homewares brand Behind The Hill, Maud Lerayer, joined us to impart wisdom from her experience working with indigenous communities in Guatemala and Mexico who produce the colour-grown cotton that the designer uses for her products.

Understanding your responsibility as a designer to respect those along your supply chain, and appreciating your role in being collaborative rather than extractive, are both imperative tools to equip yourself with no matter what your product. When working with any artisan (indigenous or not), it is essential to acknowledge that they are the business owners, the skilled ones, and without them your business would not work.

So how do you approach artisanal communities? How do you ensure that you design a product that will sell in order to educate on ancestral techniques and practices? What key considerations should be made when stepping out to build relationships with indigenous peoples?

Learn more in this 30-minute conversation.

In this Lesson you will learn:

  • How Maud, Founder of Behind the Hill, first encountered colour grown cotton and how she got the idea for a business that worked in harmony with indigenous artisans 
  • How indigenous artisans in Guatemala and Mexico work with the colour grown cotton fibre and how they perceive the future of the crops and the products they make
  • How brands can strike a balance between increasing engagement of a heritage craft and maintaining cultural sensitivity 

Login to view this lesson. Not a Professional Member of The Sustainable Fashion Collective?

Find out more here or, click to enjoy our free articles before upgrading

Next Lesson

  • Fashion production and its impact on deforestation

    with Niels Wielaard

    Niels Wielaard, founder and CEO of satellite intelligence company Satelligence joined us for a conversation about how fashion and textile production impacts deforestation. What fibres cause the biggest devastation? How can fashion brands work with farmers to monitor issues of deforestation, land grabbing and water stress? Why is traceability so important in reducing environmental and social damage? Dive in to this 38 minute conversational lesson to learn more and understand fashion production's impact on deforestation and subsequent issues, and how you can monitor and prevent future damage.