Folding Panama* Hat
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Free U.S. returns, 2-year warranty
Although commercially referred to as a Panama* Hat, this hat is made in Ecuador. Our fewer, better mission is grounded in the importance of preserving origin stories. Why? Because the story of where a product comes from is what gives it meaning, emotion, and connection. Founded with the intention of honoring the hands and lives of indigenous women who weave the Panama* Hat, Cuyana means “to love” in Quechua, an indigenous language of South America. When a product is made by hand through a skill that has been passed down among many generations, it is guaranteed to last longer — it is made with love.
Perfect for travel, our Folding Panama* is made with a softer weave, allowing it to maintain its shape after being stowed away. This piece features a grosgrain ribbon trim and new, wider brim. Each hat features an interior adjustable band that allows for a more custom fit.
The Making of Our Panama* Hats
*This is a hat handwoven in Ecuador, with love.
An Ecuadorian Treasure
What it took for one hat to get to your house is the story of craftsmanship passed down over generations, hundreds of thousands of hours of skilled labor, and an ongoing battle against misappropriation. In the 1600s, indigenous Ecuadorian people created the art of weaving toquilla straw and, since then majority female weavers have supported their traditional lifestyles by selling their craft. This hat is, by definition, a representation of Ecuadorian history and heritage. Each hat is a work of art, taking at least eight hours to make. From palm frond to finish, the process of creating a Panama* Hat is a true labor of love.
The Meaning of Misappropriation
Product misappropriation is a widespread flaw in the retail industry. The rise of mass production techniques has diminished the demand for locally-crafted goods, resulting in a disconnection between a product and its true heritage craft and origin story. The Panama* Hat is a perfect example. This product was given its name after the design was massively exported from Ecuador to Panama during the 19th century. Theodore Roosevelt was then famously photographed wearing this hat during the Panama Canal inauguration, which gave the hat its global recognition. At that point, the true Ecuadorian origin of this treasure became widely unknown. Our mission is to give Ecuador and its skilled craftspeople the respect and recognition they deserve for creating an iconic design.
Join Our Movement
We invite you to join us on a journey that is core to our hearts — to raise awareness of the true story behind an iconic design. By purchasing with Cuyana, you are supporting a heritage craft. Together we can be arbiters of change and live fewer, better. Every day.
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