50 Years of Manos del Uruguay

Category: Fair Trade News & Topics

Half a century of history

The Manos cooperatives began making yarn in 1968, fifty years ago! The Fairmount Fibers team is thrilled to be a part of the story that brings Manos del Uruguay yarns to fiber fans in the United States. This magnificent milestone deserves recognition!  

Manos del Uruguay yarn cooperatives

Women’s empowerment is a common subject these days, but it is a topic that has been at the core of the company from the very beginning. More than 5,000 women in Uruguay’s countryside have enjoyed jobs, security, economic independence, personal and professional development at Manos. While the Cooperatives, collectively, are a large and well-organized business, each individual coop is still very much a small local business.  In a mass-produced world, we have stood up for the value of an artisanal product which is made using natural fibers and sustainable methods.

Signed yarn tag

In 2009, the Manos cooperatives joined the World Fair Trade Organization after a rigorous certification process.  Read more about what it means to be Fair Trade Certified. When you choose Manos del Uruguay yarn, you’re choosing a yarn with a purpose! Each purchased skein helps a woman to support her family. We hope you take a closer look at each skein of yarn to read the signature of the artisan and location of the cooperative village. 

50 Years of Manos del Uruguay yarns

As the next chapter begins, we invite you to join us in this handmade story. In the coming weeks, we’ll have free patterns, a celebratory colorway (available on most bases!), a new pattern collection, and more. We will be sharing the news as each is launched across social media.  

On behalf of the Manos del Uruguay cooperatives, we are happy to share this 50th Anniversary video. It includes testimony from the artisans, speaking about what it means to them to be a part of Manos. Thank you again and cheers to the next 50 years! 

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