Chasqui is a family-owned Fair Trade business that works with and supports many indigenous communities throughout Bolivia and Peru. We are part of a commercial exchange based on transparency and mutual respect that was created to sustain the wonderful talent of our Andean artisans. Chasqui operates on principles of Fair Trade, with an emphasis on socially responsible practices to help elevate the status of the artisans we work with. We are proud to offer beautifully handcrafted Alpaca fiber clothing, accessories and other handcrafted goods made with traditional designs that reflect the roots of the Andean culture.
The name “Chasqui” means messengers of the Inca Empire. Chasqui was founded by Mario Andrade, a native of Bolivia who moved to the United States in 1970 to study. He opened his first Fair Trade store in 1978 in Moscow, Idaho to help support his family and the rural communities of Bolivia. He moved his store to Eugene, Oregon in 1980. For decades, Chasqui has held annual Fair-Trade events in states throughout the U.S. to promote the sale of Andean artisan goods and teach the importance of supporting the Andean communities. Mario is now retired but continues his involvement with the amazing people who make Chasqui possible. Today, Chasqui is headed by Mario’s daughter Tatiana (Tati) Andrade. Inspired by Mario’s passion, Tati chose to follow in her father’s footsteps by continuing his work with these communities in an effort to make their products available to the world.
Our Purpose is to support and contribute to the preservation of Andean artisan traditions. We strive to support sustainable living for the rural communities of the Andes by providing more fairness in international trade. Our Andean goods are produced through dignified work, fair trade wages and safe working conditions, which promote a better future for our artisans. Our Andean artisans are rewarded by the opportunity to share their beautiful hand knit products and traditions with you.
We believe that Fair Trade can help make a difference and create social change. By purchasing Chasqui Fair Trade products you are directly supporting the Andean textiles trade. Alpaca farming and weaving are deeply intertwined in Andean culture and our artisans have been making alpaca clothing and woven goods for generations. Their livelihood greatly depends on this wonderful trade. By working directly with these small communities, we are able to offer their goods at a better price with a greater portion of profits going to the artisans.
WHY BUY FAIR TRADE
Chasqui brings you some of the most beautiful traditional and unique alpaca fiber knitwear. Each piece is made with love and dedication by our skilled artisans from the Andes.
BENEFIT OF ALPACA FIBER
● Softer fibers for less irritation
● Strong and light-weight
● Superior breathability
● Naturally repels light moisture
● 21 micron fibers
● Long lasting
These qualities result in clothing that comforts and protects you in extreme conditions and
rapidly changing weather. This is what has long made alpaca highly adaptable to the high
altitude of the Andes.
Hand wash or machine wash gentle cycle with mild soap in cold water. Air dry or lay flat on adry towel to avoid shrinkage. DO NOT PUT IN THE DRYER!
Our products come from the altiplano, which serves as a geographic pedestal to the Andes Mountains of South America. This high desert plateau, with an average elevation of 12,000 ft. is home to the alpaca and llama. These unique animals are adapted to the extreme and fickle weather of the region. Their thick coats are light-weight, warm and durable. These wooly fibers have been harvested for over 6,000 years by the Incas of the altiplano.