The Panama hat. An eco-friendly and community-friendly product you can feel 100% good about!
A Natural Material
The Panama hat is entirely made of a special kind of straw that grows on the Ecuadorian coast and is called “toquilla”. No synthetic materials are used in the production of real Panama hats such as ours.
A Handmade Product
All Montefino’s Panama hats are handwoven mostly by women in small villages outside of Cuenca, Ecuador. No industrial process is involved. It takes a weaver anywhere between a day and MONTHS to weave a Panama hat, depending on the grade. Basic hats take less time to weave than Finos or Superfinos. That is why the latter cost more than the former.
A Feather-Light Item
Because it is made of straw, the Panama hat is notably light. This means that very little fuel is require for its transportation to other countries. All things considered, an imported Ecuadorian Panama hat is way MORE eco-friendly than a less durable or synthetic fiber-made locally bought hat.
A UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage
In 2012, the Ecuadorian art of straw hat weaving was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. When you buy a Panama hat, you help preserving this wonderful centuries-old cultural tradition.
A Community-Friendly Purchase
Your Montefino hat comes from communities of female weavers living in small Ecuadorian villages like Sigsig and Chordeleg. We, at Montefino, visited these villages. We saw women weaving Panama hats under trees. We saw other women selling toquilla straw in front of the community hall.
The weavers and their community get a fair share of the money you spend when you buy a Montefino Panama hat. Your purchase have a direct positive impact on these small Andean communities, who can then make a living doing what the do best: weaving the finest hats the world has ever known.