Arawak Leather Craft
Arawak Leather Craft represents Caribbean leather work at its finest. The wide range of items is meticulously crafted from high-quality leather into timeless designs conceptualized by Richard Winter, the company’s founder and manager. Winter launched his operations in Guyana in 2001 with the intention of satisfying the local market demand for leather goods. Winter has continuously been a fierce advocate for the utilization of locally produced goods that not only match, but surpass the quality of foreign imports. As a result of this vision, Arawak Leather Craft has become the largest producer of leather products in CARICOM. Its products are not only durable, practical items but crafted works of art.
The name of the company comes from Winters’ ancestral tribe, the Arawaks. The choice of name is indicative of pride in heritage but also commitment to the retention of a cultural legacy which embraces the values of his people. These values include a dedication to protecting and preserving the environment from which all of the raw materials are sourced. Winter has conceptualized, and created the prototypes for a line of leather covered plastic items such as bottles to encourage their reuse/recycling. This is in response to the detrimental impact that the increase in volume and improper disposal of plastic waste has been having on the Amerindian villages that occupy the interior of Guyana, and it is hoped that the reuse of such items will help to rectify this. The company has also secured the designation of a mangrove forest for the sustainable sourcing of bark which is used in the leather vegetable tanning process.
Another important aspect of the culture which the Arawak Leathercraft company embraces is the creation of legacy and preservation of tradition. The company has invested in the training and employment of Amerindians from tribes across Guyana in order to equip the communities with the tools to empower themselves and to maintain a distinctive aspect of their culture. Winter has also passed the knowledge of the craft on to his children and grandchildren who now specialize in leather craft also.
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