How to Style a Boho Skater Look:
Flowy Tunic || Free People
Lacey or Crochet Cardigan || Won from Blogger Giveaway (Can't remember where)
Consciously and locally sourced, Handmade in India by marginalized, at-risk women, Corporation B Certified
Beanie || Closet Swapped ;)
Consciously and locally sourced, Handmade and handwoven in Cuzco, Peru, Inspired by Peruvian Culture, support local women in marginalized areas through bracelet and bag creation program
I am very excited to share with you that in just a few days I am going to embark on an eight month journey of discovery. Okay, that sounded very whimsical and a bit cheesy... what I mean is, I am going to become a world traveler on a mission! I am first going to Ecuador, then to Peru! While there I will be volunteering with community organizations, teaching photography to kids, learning about ethical fashion production, and sharing the love of God with all I meet. :) I recognize that I have been so blessed to call this opportunity my own. It is with a lot of work and overwhelming support that I have brought this dream to fruition and am now making my way to having this trip fully funded. (Thanks to my large family, scholarships/grants, Jackie, Tara, and Bill for helping fund me too!)
How does this journey connect to today's post? The shoes that I am featuring today bring me much excitement. Not only are they fairly and beautifully crafted with a bit of a wider sole, but they are handmade in Peru! When I wear these, it is like I am traveling to Peru without leaving American soil. Anyhow, I plan on visiting Mipacha's workspace in Cuzco, Peru while I am down there. Scribble that onto my bucket list? Check! ;)
And now, time to learn! Get your nerd glasses on...
Hello there! Please introduce yourself. :)
MIPACHA provides original high quality footwear, handmade by local Peruvians and inspired by the stunning landscapes and vibrant culture of Peru. Our brand officially launched about 2 years ago in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Our headquarters is still based out of Amsterdam, but we’ve planted roots in the USA in May 2014. It’s been so exciting to share our product here in the US, and the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive .
I love that your product is inspired by the people who make it. Tell me how your products help bring about positive, sustained change.
MIPACHA is founded on the principles of fair trade, authenticity, and the creation of better opportunities for the people of Peru. In all our products we integrate values of social and economic sustainability. MIPACHA shoes are made with local Peruvian textiles and materials, handmade in Peru by passionate and skilled craftspeople. Throughout the creation of MIPACHA footwear, everyone maintains western-standard working conditions, and MIPACHA develops and supports projects for the people and communities of Cuzco.
Why the name "Mipacha”?
The name MIPACHA is Quechua for “My World”. Both the name and our logo, are inspired by the ancient Inca belief that Cuzco is the centre of the world. We believe that with a pair of MIPACHA shoes, you step into this world, this Peruvian travel experience, and make it your own.
Where are Mipacha created? Does Mipacha do any work in the community where the shoes are created?
MIPACHA was founded in Cuzco, the heart of Peru. Each pair of MIPACHA’s ordered from our web shop is delivered with a FREE hand woven bracelet and an optional backpack made from our residual material. These bags and bracelets are made by local women, situated in the poorer outskirts of Cuzco. MIPACHA has set up a special program where these unemployed women are being trained to become skilled professional artisans.
Tell me about the sustainable processes Mipacha uses in product production.
We recycle and reuse materials leftover from footwear production in other products like our bags, wherever possible. Nothing goes to waste! As part of our promise to support the local people, MIPACHA has organized training programs and provided machines for training and production purposes. This means that we not only provide a training environment to develop useful skills for previously unemployed women, but also a sustainable working environment where fair prices are paid for the work and products they deliver.
Where are you materials sourced?
This is a trade secret ;) but they are from South America. All our materials are inspired by traditional South American textiles, to ensure an authentic look and feel.
Where do Mipacha shoes fall in the ethical fashion world?
MIPAHA is a high-end, quality product. The shoes are handmade and you can tell we put a lot of effort and care into our production. Now we are one of the leaders in ethical footwear, but there were a lot of pioneers in the industry who led the way. Currently, the demand for a better and more sturdy handmade product has pushed MIPACHA to be one of the industries’ best.
I love how your shoes are a socially conscious boho version of converse. Where does the inspiration from this stem from?
We wanted to create a product which would uphold and respect the cultural heritage of Peru, but make it as accessible for streetwear fashion. Each pair of MIPACHA shoes tell its own story through the color and symbolic motifs of the local textiles and the craftsmanship of the locals, who embrace their history, traditions, and have abounding passion for the Peruvian Culture.
I saw that you have an exclusive style for Free People! How did that partnership come about?
We sold our "Clasico Bajo Gato Rosada” model exclusively to Free People during the summer of 2014. But now you can buy this and every other color online at www.mipacha.com too!
Where do you see Mipacha in 5 years? What are your big goals?
MIPACHA is a rapidly growing company, if we continue to have the current success we’re experiencing now, anything is possible. The average consumer is more worldly and environmentally conscious than ever before - this is opening up new markets and a larger customer base, there are more people who want to move away from fast fashion.
Aside from purchasing your beautifully crafted shoes, what what is the message behind your brand that you want people to remember as they wear your shoes?
MIPACHA is all about being happy and creating positive footprints both in your personal life and with the environment around us.
My blog's name is BeYOUtiful Hope. How do you define beauty?
Beauty is confidence! We love the bold and colorful look of our shoes, we think they are beautiful and confident- it’s a good thing to stand out in a crowd.
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Feeling Abundantly Blessed in this Second Week of Advent,
"As Jesus passed on, two blind men followed him crying out, 'Son of David, have pity on us!' When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I can do this?' 'Yes, Lord,' they said to him, Then he touched their eyes and siad, 'Let it be done for you according to your faith.' And their eyes were opened." -- Matthew 9:27-31
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