I believe that one of the most important things we can do right now for the planet, for women, and for humanity is to help indigenous cultures retain their way of life. They hold the wisdom of how to work with the land, the skills of how to grow food from scratch directly from the earth, and how to create things we need for everyday life with their bare hands – such as beautiful textiles and clothing - as well as other essentials. This precious knowledge is something I am really passionate about supporting and not letting die out.
I was introduced to Nest after studying for my MFA in New York at Parsons School of Design. It was at the beginning days of my own line, HJK (which I juggled between jobs with the likes of Calvin Klein Collection and other fashion houses) and I was incredibly inspired by their work with artisan groups and the hand-worker economy. My training and love of making meant I knew what it took to make a piece of clothing, and how – especially with knitting – it could be picked up and put down and worked around other tasks and responsibilities. Whole garments could be made in the in-between bits of life – waiting for the kettle to boil, or sitting on the subway. And I was in awe of women who juggled life and children and trying to make money as well. I could see the potential to give these women work which made a real difference to their lives – allowing them to juggle all the things that women juggle, and give them the opportunity to make some money without leaving their home or community.
After a serendipitous trip to Peru last April, I met a group of women who I really felt was on the same page as me with what the mission of my own line was about, and after traveling here for 3 months I decided that this was a place I needed to spend some more time. I landed back in Cusco in February 2020 and after offering to donate some of my time and experience, Nest linked me up with Threads of Peru. I am so happy to be able to contribute some of my knowledge and skills to collaborate with their indigenous partners to create some beautiful pieces for their collection. I am really excited to be able to meet and work with these women on the crafts that are part of our collective history the world over, and cannot wait to see what we come up with together.
Hannah has her own line of luxurious hand-knitted sweaters and also consults other brands on design, sourcing and development in Peru.