Responsibility - Environmental Responsibility
At Pampa we have a genuine understanding that we are accountable for our impact on Mother Earth.
We are constantly reviewing our business practices to reflect this; working on reducing our carbon footprint, working with natural materials, eliminating all plastics from our packaging and shipping processes and ensuring we can continue to provide long-term, stable work for our artisan partners.
Pampa pays respect to our resources by working with natural materials, we are very thoughtful at the time of selecting new materials to work with and always take into consideration the critical situation our planet is enduring.
We love wool, especially sheep and llama’s wool which we use in all our handwoven rugs and textiles. Wool on its own is a natural, breathable and renewable fibre with low environmental impact and provides warmth and comfort to any room. All of our rugs are made from 100% hand-spun sheep wool, except for our intricate weave rugs which have a hidden internal cotton warp, which amounts to only a 3% to 4% of the fibre used in these rugs.
Most of our throws, ponchos & scarves are woven with llama’s wool, which is amazingly soft and luxurious. Some collections are a blend of llama wool, sheep’s wool and cotton.
Our cushions are all handwoven with 100% sheep’s wool, except for the Porteño and Puna cushions which have the underside made of fabric from a local Argentinean supplier and then finished by a very small group of tailors.
The inserts we use inside of our cushions are filled with a PET fibre which is derived from cleaned and recycled water bottles. For every kilogram of PET fibre produced, more than 70 water bottle can be saved from going into landfill or potentially our oceans.
Working with leather is a new thing for us. Since Argentina is renowned for its leather, so it was only a matter of time before we began working with this versatile material for Pampa. Leather production in Argentina has gained notoriety worldwide for its high quality, traceable origins and the use of traditional techniques, we are very proud to include it in our offering.
Our leather products are a celebration of craftsmanship and the empowerment of cultural traditions that we love supporting at Pampa.
The leathers we source are all vegetable-tanned using natural elements and are shaped, handled and finished by artisan groups. It is treated with great care and respect, alongside the artisans we appreciate how special and valuable a material this is. Most people don’t know that leather is a by-product of the cattle industry, meaning it otherwise go to waste if not used.
The leather for our Porteño chairs & swings and bags is specifically sourced from an area known as Las Pampas, just south west of Buenos Aires. We work closely with a small team of craftsmen who have been working with leather for generations - the Elders pass knowledge and skills down to those in younger generations who are seeking employment and the values of learning a trade.
The goldsmiths who make Pampa bracelets have also worked with leather for decades. They are passionate about preserving ethnic and ‘gaucho’ style designs that can be seen on the talismanic, silver pendants they make, which can be found on our Ponchos so well!
We love the way that this kind of natural leather ages, much like a good wine. It will accumulate small marks and variations that add authenticity and document the beauty of the aging process.
Chaguar is a natural fibre from a plant that looks very similar to aloe vera which grows in the bush in the Litoral region of Northern Argentina. It is used by the Wichî indigenous community, whom have been using this technique of weaving for centuries.
This year we are introducing summer ponchos woven with 100% cotton, which is a hypoallergenic breathable fabric, lighter than llama’s wool and easy to wash. The cotton we use in our blended ponchos is cotton that was otherwise going to waste, and so we are making good use of it.
We work with natural dye colours as much as possible, it reflects our aesthetic but also as a way to have as little an environmental impact as possible. Our colours are derived from mostly plant matter, such as bark, leaves, fruit & vegetables, ash and other elements that surround the weaver’s homes.
For some of the brighter, more intense colours we occasionally use, such as blues and reds, these are produced from mineral dyes that we source for the weavers from a supplier in Buenos Aires.
Many of our garments don’t use dyes at all, and are simply woven from virgin wool. These are the pieces which we celebrate the most as they have even less environmental impact. For instance, our classic Puna throws which come in natural, light brown, tobacco and black are woven from 100% virgin llama wool that have simply been cleaned, spun and woven. All of our grey and natural wool cushions are also 100% virgin wool.
We are committed towards being as plastic free as practically possible.
Our products are mostly handmade with no machine use, which is pretty rare in modern production, but we wanted to do our best to further reduce our impact on the planet. Looking at our packaging was the obvious next step.
For our smaller, less fragile items we package them in compostable courier satchel made from corn starch. These can be used in home or commercial compost and can be used in worm farms. We also use larger compostable bags in place of plastic bags to protect bigger items inside boxes when needed, usually only with international shipments.
Calico market bags made from 100% cotton are used in certain products. These are reusable, washable and also made in Argentina by our small factory in Buenos Aires. These are much more expensive than a plastic option, but we like to provide work for another small business who is helping reduce permanent waste on the planet.
Our leather labels stitched onto many of our rugs and textiles are made from offcuts from our leather bags, otherwise this leather would go to waste.
Water Activated Tape is used were applicable in place of regular plastic tape, this is non-toxic, solvent & chemical free, 100% recyclable alternative. Eco-stickers and labels made from recycled paper are also used in place of the usual plastic option.
Almost all of the packaging materials such as boxes and compostable bags which are used to transport product from Argentina to our Australian HQ in Byron Bay are reused to send out orders to final customers. This means we have practically zero waste from all of our importation into Australia.
Fine Art Prints
We print our fine art prints with a local family run business just outside of Byron Bay. We have worked with them for over 5 years now, and absolutely love working with them. We print on 100% cotton rag paper, and ship them packaged in Australian made cardboard tubes to destination all around the world. The end caps on these tubes are unfortunately plastic, but we are currently looking into alternative solutions which will not put our fragile prints at additional risk to damage.
Transport & Exportation
Our products that are produced in remote Argentina travel by local bus services from the closest town to the weavers, to our office in Buenos Aires.
For our exportation from Argentina to Australia and the rest of the world, we are now selecting to pay an additional amount for each delivery with UPS to offset the shipment via their carbon neutral program. They partner with Natural Capital Partners to do so. More info here.
We are currently looking into moving all of our domestic AusPost deliveries to a carbon neutral delivery service.
Pampa x One Tree Planted
In order to scale up our social impact and environmental action, we partner with the non-profit organisation One Tree Planted to plant trees in crucial reforestation projects around the world.
With every sale we make, we plant a tree. When a Pampa Rug or Print is purchased, we are able to plant 5 trees, and 1 tree for every other Pampa piece.
One Tree Planted is a non-profit environmental charity running crucial large-scale reforestation projects around the world and in the same places that Pampa has its roots (Australia, Latin America, the U.S. and beyond).
One Tree Planted runs reforestation projects around the world, in the same places Pampa has its roots (Australia, Latin America and the U.S.) This reflects our desire to not only offset our emissions, but to be environmental stewards in the areas where we work and advocate for our local environments. It’s a meaningful partnership for us and an important part of our efforts towards building a better, healthier future for our planet.