This campaign was photographed in Peru in 2016 with Krochet Kids and Socality for the Worlds Greatest Beanie Kickstarter Campaign that raised $57,000 dollars.
The World's Greatest Beanie combines functionality, superior quality, and deep consideration for both the planet and the people involved with making it.
We documented the entire product chain and story of the Beanie. We flew from Lima to Juliaca and made the 3 hour drive to the Mallkini Alpaca Ranch. We started with the Alpaca farmers on the Andean Plateau at 15,000 feet. They raise the Alpaca from birth in smaller groups. When the wool has reached the proper length, they shear them with expertise, keeping as much of the original shape together. Next we traveled from the high altitudes of 15,000 feet to Aerquipa where the largest Alpaca yarn producer in the world resides. Michell gets the raw Alpaca from producers like Mallkini and every scrap of wool is sorted by hand. The lovely women who sort the wool feel with their fingers, and sort them into piles of quality. The finest and softest is deemed as baby Alpaca wool, which is from the first growth of an Alpaca's life. From there the raw wool is processed into yarn of various sizes. This process takes a couple days of cleaning, combing, dying depending on the wool and is spun onto spools. The finished wool was sent to the Krochet Kids headquarters in Lima, which is where our last stop was. Once in Lima the wool is threaded into the krochet machines by the amazing local women. Krochet Kids exists as a non-profit working towards empowering women to learn a trade, give them a community and battle the cycles of poverty. The handmade products they make are signed when completed, and the money made from the beanie is 90% profit for the women. The remaining money supports the programs used by the women to empower them further. Krochet Kids has helped the girls who work for them start their own businesses, and supported them to get their college degrees. Krochet Kids exists to support the women in this are and help them make their dream's possible.
This campaign was one of the coolest projects I've ever worked on. The beauty of the landscape was undeniable, but the community of people that run the Krochet Kids HQ is very inspiring and beautiful. The team of people that worked on this project are some of my best friends. Check them all out! The video below was made by Phil Leclerc. The creative director Rob Donegan for Krochet Kids is amazing talented and photographed the lightning image of me. Jonathan Zoeteman my fellow photographer on this journey is one of the best humans ever. Blake Goodfellow was our fearless Peruvian guide/ translator and Krochet Kids leader.
Krochet Kids has a sister company in knownsupply.com From the co-creators directly about Krochet Kids. "Krochet kids is a social enterprise and lifestyle brand working to empower marginalized populations in impoverished communities around the world."