Manos del Uruguay was born in 1968 out of a simple question: How can we improve the quality of life of Uruguay's rural women?
The answer was in handcrafts, using skills inherited from our mothers and grandmothers and the raw material that we had at hand: wool.
That's how Manos del Uruguay was founded, to give Uruguay's rural women jobs, that would mean, not just an income, but also an opportunity to personally develop and gain independence, keeping their roots and traditions, close to their community and families.
Not just a product
Every garment or Yarn has a tag with the artisan signature and the name of the village where the cooperative is located. This help us remind that behind each poncho, throw or scarf, there is a woman, a story.
We create garments and yarns that are beautiful, ethical and sustainable. Every piece is an opportunity to help a Uruguayan woman support her family.
How we work?
Manos del Uruguay has a social aim and we are a Non for profit organization. We are organized in 12 cooperatives, each one is a workshop located in a small village of Uruguay’s countryside.
The artisans are the owners of the company and Manos ´ profits are shared among the cooperatives or re-invested in the organization. The cooperatives have strong bonds with the communities where they are inserted, having a positive impact in society and families is very important for us.
Our ethical way
Manos del Uruguay is a member of the WFTO, World Fair Trade Organization since 2009. Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. As a Fair Trade organization, we are engaged in supporting producers, raising awareness and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of international trade.
Proud to be Uruguayan
We are devoted to take care of the crafts and traditions of our land. We enjoy working with the materials that we have at hand: wool, leather, wood, horn. We want to revisit, honor and challenge Uruguay´s iconography through the garments and objects that we create. Since our origins, we have contributed with shapes, colors and textures, that through the years, have helped shape Uruguay’s culture.
Our hand dyed yarns
All of our yarns are hand dyed. The artisans use big pots heated by wood kettles, dyeing in small batches creating wonderful colors. Our yarns colors are bright and wild, full of nuances and variations. No two skeins are the same, each one is unique, a testimony of a particular moment. Keeping the traditional hand spinning skills alive is very important for us and it allows us to create unique, beautiful yarns. Both Serpentina and Clasica Wool are hand spun by Manos artisans.
Working with the world’s top brands
Manos del Uruguay high standards of quality have granted us international recognition. Our products are demanded by high end brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Ulla Johnson, Gabriela Hearst, Dries Van Notten, Jazmín Chebar, Peruvian Connection and Stella McCartney among others. Collaborating with these brands, design and production teams challenge us to be in constant evolution.