ALMA was born out of the need to find innovative outcomes to the ancestral craft techniques that are masterfully practiced all over Mexico. To us innovation is a synonym with improvement and we strive to benefit everyone involved in the life cycle of our services and products. This encompasses everyone working on creating these products, the users and eventually those who will have to deal with the materials after the product’s useful life.
WHAT SUSTAINABILITY MEANS TO US
Every product we make has an impact on the environment in which it is created, used and discarded. We create our briefs starting with a set of values and principles that all our products must respond to. To us a successful product is one that creates benefits for the people who come in contact with it, rather than one that creates the least possible harm.
—We believe in products that create benefit rather than those that harm as little as possible
—We believe tradition and innovation are inextricably linked
—We believe in team efforts, collaboration, shared authorship and flow of intellectual property
—We believe in constant improvement and in learning from the creative process
—We believe in the power of "We"
All of our palm accessories are designed and produced in collaboration with the Fermín Procopio family of weavers. They are made of 100% natural palm fiber foraged sustainably in the mountains of Guerrero. We only forage for palm when it is in season and store it ahead for the rainy months in which palms are developing. We avoid chemical dyes and have migrated to a majority of food grade natural dyes which are fixed with vinegar and baking soda which result in our vibrant colors. This avoids the weavers being exposed to toxic fumes and chemical dye baths which present a potential health threat to their health and to the environment.
Our bags are outfitted with D-rings inside, these are nickel plated steel which can be removed and recycled. After this the entire bag can be composted or treated as organic waste.
We work hand-in-hand with expert silversmiths at the historic Spratling Workshop in Taxco to design and produce ALMA’s line of silver jewelry. We use a mix of certified .925 silver and repurpose silver from vintage jewelry, overstock and quality control. As long as the silver is pure or certified the metal can be melted and laminated again to be used anew.
We avoid wrapping and packaging for shipping and when absolutely necessary use recycled and recyclable materials for packing. Our palm pieces and select silver jewelry come in organic cotton dust-covers laced with a handwoven palm cord which can be reused and eventually recycled. We ship using mandatory envelopes but avoid any other kind of container.
We have included a care guide inside our palm and silver objects that indicates sustainable ways of disposing of your ALMA accessories in case you choose to do so. This can also be consulted in the care section of this website.
Fair trade and fair wages mean different things for different communities. During development of new products we implement various forms of costing together with the artisans we work with to ensure a transparent calculation that reaches a consensus. We share all product information with everyone involved in the creation of our products and raise the cost according to inflation, company growth and each product’s success.
We see all our designs as co-authored between our design team and the master craftspeople who make them. We do not take credit for existing vernacular designs. Each of our lookbooks credits every person involved in the creation of the collection and we are always open to share information on our collaborators. We see ALMA as a team effort.
We are looking to improve on our knowledge of the provenance of some of our supplies. We are constantly pushing to use cleaner more sustainable materials and to find appropriate ways of disposing of them.
By the end of 2019 we will be including disposal recommendations with each product as well as on our website and social media.
We are making an effort to contact end customers and figure out how they care and dispose of their fashion accessories to incorporate this knowledge into our future designs.
As we grow our line of products, we are looking for the majority of them to have a long useful life and to have the possibility of safely being disposed without creating an environmental impact.
We are always looking for more ways in which our products create a benefit for the people they come in contact with. If you have any ideas, suggestions or questions please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org