Guatemalan Textile Weavers Need Protection, Technology. In order for Guatemalan Textile Weavers to compete in the world market, Guatemalan Textile Weavers need Product Protection and Access to Technology.
Without Product Protection, the Guatemalan Textile Weavers have been forced to rely on Tourists to find their stores and buying their products. Most of the truly Integrate Hand-Woven Textiles are found in the remote villages of Guatemala. Due to the remote nature of Guatemala Villages for most Weavers, are forced to take their Textiles to larger Villages or Cities to sell their products.
Guatemalan Textile Weavers Need Protection
In the case of the Highlands of Guatemala, the Weavers take their Textiles to larger Cities like Solola, Chichicastenango Market, Panajachel, or Antigua. These cities have the largest concentration of Tourist Traffic again which is the main source of sales Income for the Weavers, being direct sales to Tourists. Guatemala is estimated to have 2 million Tourists visit the country in 2018.
The downside for the Weavers in taking their Textiles to Cities like Solola, Chichicastenango Market, Panajachel, or Antigua is competition. For example, hundreds of stalls line the main street of Panajachel all offering similar-looking hand-woven Textiles from the Indigenous Villages of Guatemala. “The Tourist Competition” as I like to call it, also has driven prices for these incredible Textiles to being no more than a bartered for product sold for the lowest prices.
Many of the stalls selling claimed handmade textiles, backpacks, blankets, purses, shawls, leather products, and Jewelry are fake, made in Mexico or China, and sold as Guatemalan handmade products. Without Protection from these false and misleading sales tactics of these sellers, the Weavers and Artisans of Guatemala have no recourse or protection of the design, how the products were made, and are the products sold in these stalls from a Renewable and Sustainable source. Most likely not.
Who to protect? Is it through labeling that the products are handmade in Guatemala? Education of the consumer being the Tourist? How would you explain to a Tourist the difference between a Fake and Real? Or would they even care, because come to Guatemala and Barter, it’s okay to Barter a Weaver down in her shop from $10.00 for a Handmade Scarf that took her 3 days to produce to $5.00.
These examples above are part of the global problem we face with Ethical Fashion today. No matter the Developing Country in the world Artisans face the same issue as Guatemalan Weavers and Artisans.
Guatemalan Textile Weavers Need Protection!