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I was recently invited by Fundación La Rústica to be part of a conference with Fundación Legorreta Hernández at the “Feria de la Muñeca” in Amealco, Querétaro. We talked about how handcrafted textiles and crafts in general can help reinvigorate rural communities socially, culturally and economically. My role was to show how a collaboration between designers and craftsmen can be a turning point for this to happen, taking into account the fine line that relies between collaborating and dictating. 

For instance, in Anudando we have woven strong, personal relationships with our craftsmen. In some cases, we have helped integrate their families. We respect and admire their craft and their background/culture, at the same time, we bring them new opportunities by coupling their craft with sustainable materials and more environmentally friendly ways of working; plus the addition of a more contemporary functional intake to their own pieces.

All in all, it was a great conference, full of debate and questions. It is always particularly energising to give a talk when you have such and engaged public. Invigorating to see so many people interested and concerned about crafts, fairtrade and local economies. It was clear that we were all in the same page, hoping for a more sustainable future for Mexico. Athough a year to go, we look forward to next "Feria de la Muñeca" for another great set of interesting talks and round tables.