Our Teamis dedicated to bringing you unique eco fashion and creating sustainable economies for the communities we work with through the power of design. We are committed to the protection of the Amazon rainforest and its cultures, as indigenous peoples working in partnership with us are looking for alternatives to extractive industries. A holistic approach empowering communities by providing artisan-based opportunities, which preserve the beauty and richness of the Amazon and its people.
The Asociación Sukû of the Cofán Community in the Ecuadorian Amazon, is an organization made up of over 40 highly talented women artisans, whose mission is to contribute and improve social, economic and cultural development of their members and the community, strengthening their cultural and spiritual identity through projects in agriculture, forestry, arts and crafts, and protection of the rainforest. Asociación Sukû is the first group of indigenous Amazon artisans that Violeta started working with in 2010. They are the roots of our Amazon eco fashion business and mission, who continue to make stunning work for domestic and international markets.
When not in the Amazon, our key contacts are artisans Silvia Queta, Nancy Chapal, Ortencia Aguinda and Cofán community leader and artisan Emergildo Criollo.
The Women’s Association of the Nor-Orient Awajún Region (AMARNO) in the Peruvian Amazon, is an organization made up of over 50 highly skilled and talented Awajún women artisans who are devoted to their artistry. They create exquisite traditional and modern designs, and live in a remote area of the rainforest, where they travel hours by boat to ship their beautiful work for you to wear. It brings them great satisfaction to share their artistry with the world, while making a living from their traditional craft. Through our partnership, we work together to reach markets domestically and abroad.
When not in the Amazon, our key contacts are AMARNO’s President Balbina Paukai and Awajún-Wampis community representative Ambrocio Uwak.
Deep in Forests
Deep in Forests is a network of native community leaders and ecopreneurs working to increase the value of standing forests through sustainable solutions for the protection of the Amazon and cultures that have been stewards of the Amazon for centuries. Deep in Forests connected Violeta with other Amazon community members, beginning her work with Awajún artisans in the Peruvian rainforest in 2011. DIF represents over 200,000 hectares of titled and well-preserved rainforest belonging to more than 1,000 indigenous families from six rainforest ethnic groups. They have been in business for more than seventy years in five different sustainable Amazonian industries. Together we share our varied resources, skills and networks to support our mission.
Artisan & Secretary of Asociación Sûku
Silvia Queta is a Cofán artisan of Asociación Sûku. She is our main contact in the field in the Cofán community in Ecuador, where she lives with her husband, Fidel Aguinda – the President of the Youth Association of the Cofán Nationality of Ecuador AJONCE – and their children. Silvia has a key role that includes maintaining communications with ORG by vio®, receiving and shipping orders, ensuring that the artisans are included in all updates, as well as overseeing production of all orders.
Silvia’s leadership, computer and internet skills are beneficial to Associación Sûku and our partnership. These skills ensure that they use modern tools to enhance their experience and global reach, while maintaining and sharing their ancestral traditions with the world.
Artisan & President of AMARNO
Balbina Paukai is an Awajún artisan and President of AMARNO, the Artisans Women’s Association of the Nor-Oriental Awajún Region. She is our direct contact in the Awajún community in the Peruvian Amazon. Her dedication to the advancement of their arts and culture inspires her and the artisans to create and position their artisanal work in markets domestically and internationally.
Balbina is an asset in our partnership and together we ensure that the highest quality standards are used to create their beautiful artistry.
Founder & Designer
Peruvian born designer Violeta Villacorta brings over twenty years of experience in the fashion industry with a focus in sustainable design since 1993. Her signature clothing collection has been featured in national and international magazines. She has been interviewed on television in the U.S. and Europe; dressed luminaries in the music and film industry; shown her collections at MOCA Geffen Museum in Los Angeles; and speaks on sustainable solutions, poverty alleviation through design and her work with indigenous Amazon artisans, addressing these important issues of our time with creative resourcefulness.
After working for various companies, including six years as Senior Designer at Patagonia – a company she chose to work with for their mutual values – she combined her love for design, the environment and culture to found ORG by vio® and work in collaboration with indigenous artisans from the Amazon rainforest, the most biodiverse ecosystem in the world that she feels called to protect. This work directly benefits the artisans, their families and communities.
As Creative Director of Sol Brand Design, Abel‘s expertise combines marketing, brand design and business to help ORG by vio® become a leading brand in high quality eco fashion.
In 1997, he joined Wild Oats Markets, Inc., connecting his passion for great design and sustainability to help position Wild Oats as a nationally recognized brand. After years of designing advertising and marketing collateral, he became Art Director, and was instrumental in moving the early 1990’s ‘granola’ image of Wild Oats toward the gourmet brand identity that is synonymous with today’s popular “foodie” culture. Later as Director of Environmental Design and Director of Innovation, he focused on delivering customer-focused store designs unique to each brand, leading creative teams to produce successful, award-winning new store prototypes for Wild Oats Marketplace and Henry’s Farmers Market in the USA and Caper’s in Canada. After building solid roots in the natural products industry, he focused primarily on developing sales strategies and sales teams for several companies, including Sol Goods, WordSecure.com and Era Panama Realty.
Field Video & Photography
Dylan is a highly skilled metal artist and founder of his own brand Sage Blades. His work is sought after by collectors from around the world and he has a reputation for making beautiful functional high quality tools and knives with a soulful aesthetic. Each one of his creations is made with meticulous precision.
Dylan is married to designer Violeta Villacorta and together they travel to the Amazon to work with the artisans in the field. He plays many roles, which include filming and taking photographs in the field, as well as always being well equipped for protection and surviving in the jungle. He also has been invited by the Awajún men to give a workshop on knife making and sharpening, so they can make their own tools from reclaimed materials.
A lifelong visual artist, musician, multi-instrumentalist and surfer whose academic background encompasses a broad range of disciplines in various fields, Jeff Byrnes carries his camera into the world to paint, communicate, and facilitate a connection across multiple genres in aesthetic fashion for heightened effect and impact.
His on-again-off-again twenty year affair with photography is now being grown into a full-fledged creative services business, which allows him to seek out new environments, interesting people, curious subjects, and creatively display them for a willing audience.
Jeff has worked with Violeta on fashion shoots of her clothing collections for the last few years. He now also directs his lense and keen eye for detail to create beautiful images of the Amazon eco fashion and jewelry the artisans create.
Visit our Credits page to see a list of other contributors who support our work.
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