Who Made Your Clothes?  The Chaska Collective

Who Made Your Clothes? The Chaska Collective

The Chaska Collective 
Arequipa Peru

Campo was founded based on the idea that business can and should be a force for good.  Commerce is one of the proven successful ways to build up a developing economy.  Organizations like Chaska are the reason for Campo’s existence. 
Patricia and Chaska
Patricia (Left).  Chaska teaching moment
Chaska was founded by Patricia who spent her career working in apparel and consumer goods companies in quality control.  Now that she’s retired, she chooses to give of her time and experience.  Chaska is a group of women living outside of Arequipa, Peru.  Most of them have children, some have families, and others do not; but all find support in this group of women who work together.  They are all incredibly talented knitters, a skill  which was taught to themwhen they were children. 
Finding Chaska and Patricia was fate and proof that it’s a small world.  My grandmother visited the Rivendell Alpaca farm in Elgin, IL and made friends with the owner, Jill.  Jill's husband has family down in Peru as well as in Wisconsin.  Jill's brother-in-law from Wisconsin mentioned that I should meet Patricia, who did a homestay in Wisconsin when she was in high school to learn English. 

All those connections later, I was on a call with Patricia:  this amazing, driving, intelligent woman with the same mission as me!  Some things are meant to be!

How does Chaska Work?
Chaska’s model gives these women the flexibility to make income on their own terms.  Working at the Chaska Collective they get flexible work hours, the ability to work from anywhere, and are able to watch their kids and take care of their homes.  The teams meet up once per week to learn new patterns, pick up the yarn they need, give have input into how many units they want to make, and have a community meeting.  At the meetings everyone chats, catches up, and it feels like a family getting together for a dinner.
Chaska Collective Dinner
I have been incredibly impressed by the skill and motivation of this group as well as their kindness and generosity.  Every time that I meet up with these ladies, I feel like I am coming to a family member’s house… Great to catch up, lots of food, lots of AMAZING food, and family!
We look forward to working and growing with the Chaska Collective.  Currently it's a small production, but that's how change happens... one stitch, one person, one community at a time.  
Knitting Circle
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