Artisan profile: Gabriela

Gaby is a knitter from Misiones, Argentina and mother of two living in Mataderos, an outlying barrio on the western edge of Buenos Aires city. She made our superfine machine-knit merino wool Mapinu scarf.
After moving to BA, Gaby found work knitting in a factory that mass-produced knock-offs and fast fashion for the giant local wholesale industry, a juggernaut of a system rife with sweatshops and indentured servitude. The hours and the pay were exploitative and she eventually decided to take a chance and strike out on her own. She now works from home on a variety of manual knitting machines, managing her own hours and workload, and coordinates a group of 8 independent ex-factory workers, all while taking night classes in business administration.
We at URSA Textiles are deeply committed to providing sustainable, long-term work to the artisans that we work with, who, as independently-employed individuals making up part of Argentina's vast informal economy, are some of the most vulnerable in the nation's extremely unstable economy, which as of today is facing 40%+ inflation and up to 700% increase in utilities as of this month. The middle class is stumbling while the working class is struggling to stay afloat. We believe that through collaboration, transparency, and sheer woman-power, we can make some lives better. We truly appreciate the value of hand-crafted goods, and the people that create them.