For hundreds of years, hat weaving has been an integral part of Ecuador's culture. It is a highly skilled craft with finely woven hats taking weeks to hand weave. But behind this style icon lies a history of exploitation, resulting in a traditional craft under threat.
Founded in 1992, Pachacuti is the world's only certified Fair Trade hat specialist. By paying a fair wage and investing in the communities they work with, Pachacuti is ensuring that the timeless style of the Panama hat will endure for years to come.
The unique straw used in Pachacuti's Panama hats, comes from the toquilla plant (Carludovica Palmata) which grows in the mountains of Ecuador. The fibre used in the production is organically grown and sustainably cultivated on a community owned plantation. Its harvest provides needed income whilst preserving the environment for future generations.
The earliest documented evidence of a Panama hat is to be found on a small ceramic figure attributed to the Valdivia culture of South America from 4000 B.C! But it was King Edward VII that started the summer trend for Panama hats and linen suits at Goodwood in 1906.
Caring for a Panama hat
Cleaning Your Panama