Pins and buttons have been a countercultural form of expression for decades. But is adorning our jackets with factory made accessories that are mass produced using non-environmentally friendly processes really what fighting the man looks like? We’re skeptical. Luckily, our friends at Sapia in Colombia have designed sustainable gourd pins so we can continue loving this timeless trend without losing our edge. Rock on!
How are the gourd pins made?
These eco-friendly pins are produced by Fussioni, a workshop of our artisan partner Sapia. The pins are made from gourd, which is the dried shell of the fruit that falls from Totumo trees grown in Melgar and Ibague. Fussioni sources the gourds from a supplier in Bogata.
Constanza León, the leader of the Fussioni workshop, designs the pins. Once uploaded to a computer, the intricate designs are cut out of gourd using a laser printer. The finishing touches are all done by hand. The artisans of Fussioni polish the pins and paint them using non-toxic, lead-free acrylic paint.
Fussioni is a microenterprise led by Constanza. The workshop employs 10 artisans, some of whom are women who are the primary income earners in their families. The workshop’s goal is to merge traditional handicraft skills with modern technology using the workshop’s laser cutter. The artisans produce jewelry and pins, all using gourd from the totumo tree.
Nothing says punk to us like going against the grain. Someday fair wages and safe working conditions will be business as usual. Until then, we’ll keep fighting for economic justice and partnering with artisan workshops, like Fussioni, that use innovative practices to create sustainable and gourdgeous (okay, sorry, couldn’t help ourselves) alternatives. March to the beat of your own drum and protect the Earth with gourd pins from Colombia.