Creating the Homecoming Collection
The Homecoming Collection is a limited edition holiday offering of fair trade gifts sure to delight for seasons to come. To create this collection we sought out master artisans from all over the state of Oaxaca who specialize in palm, clay, cotton and wood. The result is a selection of goods inspired by tradition and designed for the way you live.
The design process is headed by our Oaxaca-based Design + Production Manager Ana Cris. Part of her job is seeking out new artisans and sourcing new materials.
"In general, I am looking for people who have some years of experience at work, who are passionate about doing it and who have quality in their work. Another important thing is traceability. I believe that belonging to the Fair Trade Federation we have the obligation to have the greatest clarity of information. Know where the materials are from, how they transform the raw material and everyone involved in that process. In that way, I think a product becomes more sustainable and fair for everyone: artisans, MZ staff and our customers."
- Ana Cris
All of the clay products, including the Cena Dinner Plate, Caldo Soup Bowl, Agua y Vino Tumbler, and Infusion Mug, were made in the family workshop of Ana Maria in the town of Santa Maria in Aztompa. Atzompa is a Zapotec indigenous village with a long tradition of pottery, thanks to the rich clay deposits located there, which only locals are allowed to harvest. Ana María has been working with clay since she was a child, and in turn has taught her children and grandchildren the family trade. Ana María says that she is very proud to work with the earth (quite literally the land of her people!), which generates work and sustenance for her family.
The Buen Provecho Placemats and Bebida Palm Coasters are made by the Xula Collective in Santa Maria Ixcatlán in the Mixteca region of Oaxaca. The tiny village is surrounded by small palm trees, which the locals have been using to weave hats, baskets, and mats for centuries. The members of Xula Collective sustainably wild-harvest the palm and then weave it in underground caves, where the humidity allows them to work the palm without it breaking. The Xula value the earth and the palm it provides and appreciate that they can add further value to the palm through working it with their hands.
The Molinillo Wooden Whisk is carved by Jesús Gómez Torres, who lives with in the mountains of Las Ánimas in the Sierra Norte region of Oaxaca. His family has been working with wood for generations, carving the special whisks for making hot chocolate called molinillos, as well as shovels, spoons, and other tools.
The Knit Storage Baskets are a collaboration between Alejandrina from San Pablo Yaganiza in the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca, who crochets the cotton baskets, and Benjamin from Santo Domingo Tomaltepec, who contributes the leather handles. Alejandrina says that shew never imagined that her creations would be exported and sold around the world. She is proud to represent Mexican crafts on a global scale.
"The most exciting part for me is when I go to the artisans' workshops. I really like to understand the process of each product. It's very interesting to see the tools they use, understand the challenges they face and hear what they enjoy most about their work. Knowing their processes is key to being able to design and it becomes a collaboration which is enriched by the point of view of the artisan."
Every product in the Homecoming Collection was handmade using natural materials and traditional techniques yet created with the modern home in mind. We hope these beautiful and functional goods bring joy to your life this holiday season!