Manos del Uruguay (Hands of Uruguay), a cooperative of artisans living throughout the countryside of Uruguay, was formed in 1968 to bring economic and social opportunities to rural women. Using natural fibres sourced in South America, Manos del Uruguay yarns are handspun and kettle-dyed over wood fires. This method produces the Manos trademark colours in which no two skeins of yarn are exactly alike and there are no dyelots. Each hank of yarn has its own provenance because the person who dyed it has signed the label, therefore enabling the dyer to benefit from the yarn sale.
Manos del Uruguay is committed to the safe-keeping of the environment,which is reflected in the use of luxurious natural fibres as pure wool,silk and merino. They enforce the rational use of water and other resources and avoid using harmful chemicals during the dyeing process.
In 2009 Manos del Uruguay was admitted as a full member of WFTO (Word Fair Trade Organization), the global representative body of over 350 organisations committed to 100% Fair Trade. WFTO members are organisations differentiated by their 100% Fair Trade commitment to eradicate poverty through sustainable economic development; pioneering social and environmental policy and practice and continual reinvestment in marginalised artisans, farmers and producer communities in some of the most fragile places on earth, practices that Manos del Uruguay has been applying for 40 years.