FAQ + Care Guide
Care + Cleaning
How should I clean an MZ bag?
Caring for our premium wool, handcrafted items is easy ! For every day cleaning we suggest a cashmere brush. These are readily available online and in most craft and yarn stores. For more intensive cleaning we recommend dry cleaning only as the items are 100% wool.
What types of dye are used?
What are the benefits of wool?
As a natural part of the carbon cycle, wool is one of earth’s most sustainable materials. Energy from plants is converted to wool through the sheep, and the sheep’s manure helps more plants grow. This is a natural and renewable process that is gentle on the animals, and the environment.
In addition to the light footprint of wool’s creation, it is a quality and long-lasting fiber, which means that wool lasts longer and require less laundering than other textiles. Wool is also one of the most recycled fibers, and eventually, at the end of its life, it is one of the most biodegradable.
What is fair trade?
Fair trade means that producers in developing countries are getting a fair wage for their work. It is an approach to international development and business based on dialogue, transparency, and respect between farmers or artisans and those who sell their products in the first world. Fair trade businesses, which are accredited by various bodies and backed by conscious consumers, work to raise awareness and campaign for changes in conventional international trade.
More than just a trade partnership, fair trade addresses the hurdles that many producers face, offers support during production, and seeks to find consumers for their goods, so that it is the craftperson or coffee farmer who truly benefits from the sale. Fair trade products can be more expensive than their conventional counterparts because of the fair wage given to the producer, and it takes discerning consumers to make fair trade a working model.
The MZ brand was created in order to connect the talented Zapotec weavers with new markets as well as to share their craftsmanship with the world. We are accredited by the Fair Trade Federation and our goal for growth is to be able to offer work to more artisans to help them improve their lives and communities, one weaving at a time.
As members of the FTF we fully support the values of fair trade.
Why should I stock fair trade items?
Fair Trade supports communities in developing countries that are socially and economically marginalized. MZ is proud to be a part of the ethical and slow fashion movement. Your purchase supports our mission to provide fair wages to all of our artisan partners. In return, you receive a high-quality, handcrafted item that you can feel good about and is made to last!
Are you part of a fair trade organization?
What are the guiding principles of fair trade?
Trade as a Force for Positive Change
We value trading relationships that distribute power, risks and rewards more equitably. We believe that trade should be used as a tool to help alleviate poverty, reduce inequality, and create opportunities for people to help themselves. Trade should promote fair compensation, safe and healthy conditions, direct and long-term relationships, transparent business practices, and workplaces free from discrimination and forced child labor. When trade encompasses these practices, the lives of all people and their communities improve.
We celebrate the contribution and value of all people in the supply chain and recognize the dignity of each person and organization in our interactions and relationships. We believe that people have a right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives based on open sharing of information.
We value communities grounded in trust, moral support, cooperation, and a sense of belonging, making us stronger individually and as a whole. We value the global fair trade movement, recognizing that we are intrinsically interdependent, and believe that our unified voices convey a powerful message.
We value continuous improvement and application of economic, social, cultural, and environmentally sustainable practices. We embrace the United Nations’ definition of sustainability “to meet the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
We believe that credibility comes from demonstrating, through open and transparent interactions, the promises we make. We have a responsibility to maintain the highest standards and expectations of ourselves; and, we value organizations that aspire to fully embrace fair trade principles.
We value the impact that comes from empowering consumers with knowledge. We believe that when people understand that trade can be a force for positive change they will use their purchasing power to improve the lives of people and communities.
How many artisans do you work with?
What percentage goes to the artisans?
Our artisan partners receive 45% to 56% of the wholesale price of our items. Artisan managers are paid an additional percentage of every order placed.
Where do the designs come from?
MZ works closely with our artisan partners on design and color. Most patterns are ancient symbols from the architecture surrounding Oaxaca. These images have been woven into rugs and other objects for hundreds of years. Our style team works closely with the artisans on color and new takes on ancient themes. Learn more about traditional Zapotec symbols here!