Responsibility - Design
We collaborate with our artisan communities on the design of our pieces.
When we began Pampa, we introduced designs that drew on traditions, folklore and parts of Argentinean heritage.
Since our first small Pampa collection, we have grown and have added our own team of designers to our Studio in Byron Bay. Led by Victoria Aguirre, the majority of our products are now designed in-house. The design process begins from Victoria’s time in nature (where she finds most of her inspiration) or from her extensive collection of design and historical photography books. It can also start from an idea from one of weavers. Either way, everything is finalised in our Byron Bay studio before sending off to the weavers for production.
We also admire and are inspired by traditional designs from Andean, Zapotec and Navajo communities, which have influenced some of our wares. One of the things we enjoy most is the process of research that precedes every new rug collection, which can be inspired by our travels, by our artisan communities or even from a place, a movement, an artist.
At Pampa, we produce our collections in very small batches, all rugs are produced one at a time except for the Mini Rugs that are produced in pairs. Our cushions come in batches of 50 for the most popular styles and in 5 or 10 for the less popular designs. Our Ponchos are produced in batches of 10 to 20, our woven chaguar bags are all one-off pieces and our leather bags come in batches of 20 at a time. The scale of growth and production in Pampa is limited by several factors: not wanting to flood the market, our commitment to having no wastage, and being conscious of the times in which we live, which demand we drastically reduce our consumption.
Our production process also relates to weather, which we feel makes our product even more special. We not only respect our artisan’s flow but also the rhythm’s of mother nature. The wool has to be dried in the sun—if it's monsoon season everything can be delayed. In the wintertime (when our sales are the highest, given we are a wool based brand) we can have challenges with wool supply. Sheep can’t be shorn in winter, and this past winter was particularly cold in Argentina. We didn’t have the wool for our rugs as the sheep needed the wool to make it comfortably and safely through the harsh winter. Due to climate change and the unpredictability of the seasons, this will be an important consideration in winters to come. All of these factors come into play and it is an ever-present understanding between our artisans, ourselves and our clients.
Running a business ethically that only produces small batches of handmade products at a time means that we have to pay close attention to our pricing structure. Exportation fees, import duties, domestic freight in Argentina and abroad, management of one-off pieces and all the usual expenses associated with running a retail business contribute to our final pricing. We keep our prices as low as we practically can, whilst still being able to maintain growth within the business to ensure a prosperous future for all involved in the chain. We are grateful to our community for supporting handmade, traditional craftsmanship and for allowing us to continue our artisan relationships with remote communities in Argentina.