Gallery: Join Kollabora, Awamaki on a “Collaborative Crafting” Workshop in...

Photos by Amanda Coen

Kollabora wants to be more than a social platform for do-it-yourselfers. Launched in September, the online community is also looking to forge relationships in the physical space. Its first stop? Peru's Sacred Valley, where it'll promote the spirit of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in a cross-cultural, real-world context. Scheduled for May 25, Kollabora's nine-day expedition will take 10 travelers to Ollantaytambo in the city of Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage site known as the "last living Inca city." There, Kollabora will pair participants with a knitter from the outlying neighborhood of Rumira to develop a knit item through a hands-on process that will involve visiting alpaca farms, learning to spin fleece into yarn, dyeing skeins with native plants alongside Quecha weavers, and studying the local backstrap loom.

Kollabora, natural dyes, Peru, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style


“It’s been a dream of mine to bring our creative and fashion-forward DIY community to a beautiful and spiritual place to learn from a culture that’s been crafting for centuries,” Carol Cho, who takes care of business development and partnerships at Kollabora, tells Ecouterre.

The nine-day excursion aims to be a completely authentic, immersive experience.

Most alpaca wool, she says, hails from Peru, so why not head for the source? “It’s difficult for makers to find authentic experiences like these and also the opportunity to travel with a group of makers, DIYers, and fashion enthusiasts just like themselves,” she says. “Think about it like traveling with your future best friends.”

Designed for students or anyone who seeks an adventure off the beaten path, the excursion aims to be a completely authentic, immersive experience. Participants will stay with host families (recruited by Awamaki, a nonprofit that collaborates with indigenous communities to create economic opportunities and improve social well-being), feast on hearty Peruvian meals, visit local museums and ruins, explore bustling markets and craft stalls, and tour the the famed Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Kollabora will take care of any supplies, including yarn, colored pencils, paper, and a mini-dictionary of Spanish knitting terminology. The group will also showcase the resulting work, as well as circulate any ideas, developed in partnership with the Rumira artisans, among its members.

The cost of the trip, homestay and most meals included, is $1,799, exclusive of international airfare to and from Cusco, visas, travel or health insurance, and personal purchases.

+ Collaborative Crafting Workshop

+ Kollabora

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