Allpamama means Mother Earth. We are her daughters.
January 26, 2022
The name of our brand, Allpamamas, was chosen in 2019 along with our Kichwa colleagues as a way to dedicate our work to Mother Earth. She is - and always will be - our muse.
She received it, and she received us. As we walked the path that Allpamamas took us in, we were initiated into deeper wisdom than we ever expected.
When we started, we (María & Vanessa) were nature lovers, but hadn't yet grasped the depth of this powerful word. There is a subtle but important difference that we now understand: Allpamama goes beyond nature in its expression as material objects. Allpamama refers to the spirit, the consciousness, the creatress of this planet. She is alive and is us, as we are her. She makes up our world along with Nina Mama, Yaku Mama and Mama Huaira. The four spirits that have the physical form of earth, fire, water and air.
A larger responsibility was uncovered for us as guardians of this word. We questioned if we could ever make a “fashion project” worth carrying a sacred spirit’s name and evaluated the potential dishonor to the Kichwa cosmovision in doing so. So we always did our best to honor it through our actions.
We were taken by surprise when a letter arrived demanding we change our name. A brand registered as Allpa before us claimed their right to it. Our first reaction was - “shameless”. Who thinks they can own the word earth? If this were a Spanish word - tierra - the trademark registration would have never been approved.
However, we reflected – who are we to claim ownership over this word either? This brought up interesting conversations with friends and advisors, both indigenous and not. More should be had, as several details in this case that exemplify systematic issues.
After much consideration, we have chosen to let go of the name Allpamamas for these reasons:
Allpamama is a sacred spirit who we honor and revere. Using her name for a commercial fashion brand inspired us to keep everything around it sacred; away from the “pollution” of the fashion industry. This limited our commercial efforts and therefore our sales, which separates us from our main purpose – creating jobs for as many artisans as possible.
We are pained to see the battle over land for commercial interests and to see the body of our Allpamama violated. Having a dispute over the ownership of her name carries that same essence and is incoherent with our values.
The other party has expressed no openness for a peaceful, legal resolution that allows us to co-exist. We value our energy too much to lean into a legal dispute.
We trust that our work speaks for itself, that our community is strong and powerful, and that a name is only a label. We know you will support us regardless and we thank you in advance.
A name change is powerful. In spiritual traditions, a name change implies a rebirth of the person. It welcomes the embodiment of a new and evolved energy. We feel this happening to us as founders and as a project, so this change is timely and welcome.
Everything in life, as in nature, is transitory. Carrying the name of Allpamama has been an honor to us. As we move forward with a new identity, expect our project to be renewed.
The work Allpamamas has done to re-interpret ancestral textile techniques of the Andes and introduce them to the contemporary fashion world has marked a before and after. From our methodology to co-create with artisans, to our international reach, our work has been unprecedented for an Ecuadorian fashion brand. We will take a moment to reflect on this journey and ensure our energy is optimized towards creating the highest possible social, environmental and cultural impact.
In the meantime, we will be selling the last stock of Allpamamas clothing ever. We want each of you, who have wanted to own one of our garments, to take this last opportunity and gift yourselves a true treasure. Our website will be closed for shopping soon so please stay tuned through our Instagram & newsletter.
Thank you infinitely for your support.
María & Vanessa