I love my camera. When my brother gave it to me, one of the first accessories I bought was a new camera strap. Doing my usual daily Instagram scroll, I came across Hiptipico - in awe of the bright colourful designs, I contacted them to ask if I could write a little bit about how they came about.
Hiptipico is an ethical fashion brand based in Panajachel, Guatemala which showcases Maya artisans and their handmade creations. Every Hiptipico item is handcrafted by indigenous communities, using high-quality sustainable materials.
Hiptipico’s mission is to create a sustainable avenue for quality artisan products to reach the global fashion marketplace, honouring the Maya culture, it motivates local entrepreneurial spirits and empowers families and communities.
The company was founded by Alyssa - she spent nine months in the highlands of Guatemala prior to launching the brand. Alyssa takes a personal approach to the company, living full-time in Guatemala since 2011 and spending time with the artisans daily. She knows about the depths of their lives and sponsors local education initiatives in the Maya villages.
So, what do they sell?
Camera straps, which are beautifully embroidered.
Mini bags with pompoms.
Wallets and Passport Cases
And even coffee......
These beautiful items are 100% handmade using traditional techniques, such as pedal looms, weaving, embroidery and natural dyes using an indigenous Maya Tz’utujil dyeing technique.
Hiptipico is BCorp certified this is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. In 2018 they were named the #1 BCorp in Guatemala and made the top 5 list of social enterprises directly impacting the community in Central America.
I am totally in love with all of these bright colours and I really hope to save up for a new camera strap of my own soon. These artisans are truly talented and each piece is individual.
Thank you Alyssa and the Hiptipico team for allowing me to share your story and use your photographs.