Danish women’s and homewear brand Aiayu (meaning “soul” in native Bolivian) was founded in 2004 by Maria Høgh Heilmanm, Maria Møgelberg Glæsel and Marie Worsaae. The three women set out to create a sustainable knitwear line, merging artisan skills with the simplicity of Scandinavian design. Just like us, they wanted to redefine the concept of luxury fashion, pointing out that a product’s quality and origin, as well as its social and environmental impact, is as important as its aesthetics.
Aiayu place great emphasis on the materials used in their collections, which are limited to a few superior natural qualities made ethically and responsibly by local artisans: there’s the Yak wool and cashmere produced in Nepal, the organic cotton from India, and the llama wool from the highlands of Bolivia. Using natural fibers like these also means that the main part of the collections, as well as the packaging, is completely biodegradable (sustainable bonus points).
Today, the vast majority of the brand’s knitwear is made from the Bolivian llama wool. When starting up their production in 2004, Aiayu discovered a very poor country—though rich in both artisanal knowledge and natural resources—in great need of new exporting opportunities. So, together with local partners, and with aid from the Danish Foreign Ministry, they built Bolivias’ first knitwear factory, enabling a completely transparent and responsible in-house supply chain. With this close collaboration evolving over more than a decade, we believe them when they say their production is one of a kind.
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