The UNESCO Chair on Sustainability (UNESCO_SOST) works to facilitate the dissemination of art and culture linked to different communities from Latin American regions, like the ethnic Colombian Zenu and Embera groups.
UNESCO_SOST promotes sustainable development on these communities, including a Fair Trade philosophy for nearly 25 Zenu knitters and 20 Embera artisans and their families, while forging strong bonds in the communities where we work. We promote the circular economy from the intangible cultural heritage and the traditional ecological knowledge associated with the natural environment on each region, expressed in both manufacturing techniques and fabrics of various fibers as well as using natural dyes.
The beautiful and colourful jewelry from the Embera and the hats such as the Vueltiao hat, one of the Colombian craft par excellence from the Zenu are handmade by expert artisans. Each craft piece has a woman, a family and a real-life story behind it. This artisanal process produces the most vibrant patterns and highest quality craftsmanship. The hats from the Zenú ethnic group use traditional colors, designs and weaving techniques that date back over a thousand years. The Zenú use a complex traditional method to transform the natural caña flecha palm tree (Gynerium sagittatum) fiber into black and white fibers.