The Century plant, or Maguey cactus, is native to Mexico. The cactus used to make our Community Fair Trade Cactus Mitts is harvested and hand-spun using ancient Aztec methods in Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo State, Mexico.
We work with the YaMunts’I Behna, a women’s co-operative of 250 indigenous Nanhu producers, who hand cut, dry and knit the plant’s fibers to create mitts for gentle skin exfoliation.
Since Aztec times Maguey cactus leaves have been used as a source of fibers by the Nanhu women. From planting the seed to the finished Mitt, the Nanhu women complete each stage by hand using the same ancient methods they have always used.
WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER
Ya Munts’I Behna means ‘women working together’, and for many of the women in the co-operative the sale of Cactus Mitts to The Body Shop is their only source of cash income, helping increase their self-esteem as well as giving them economic independence that allows them to buy essentials such as food, clothing and school materials and uniforms for their children.
Amongst various projects, the profit the co-operative earns from our trade has given them the ability to improve the quality of life in their community with water storage tanks, family gardens and training on environmental issues..