MARLBORO >> Local Fair Trade, sustainable fashion brand, Kusikuy, is hosting a Bolivian Party Re-launch Fundraiser at their Marlboro headquarters on Sunday, June 29 at from 4 to 8 p.m. Festivities will include Bolivian food such as chunos (freeze dried potatoes) and api (a Bolivian drink made from corn and quinoa), Bolivian music, an Andean fashion Show featuring the hand knits of Kusikuy, and more. The evening culminates with a bonfire and the ritual burning of a sacred mesa in a ch'alla – an Andean ceremony for blessings and good luck. Suggested donation is $20 but all are welcome regardless. The event takes at 314 Upper Houghton Rd., Marlboro. Parking is limited at the event site so carpooling is suggested though there is ample street-side parking with a one-quarter mile (scenic) walk up the driveway.

The fundraiser ties in with the Kusikuy kickstarter to begin mid-June and features personalized tours of Bolivia and chance to meet the Kusikuy knitters and herders that make the brand's fashions. Opportunities to support the kickstarter campaign and get other Bolivian gifts such as antique woven blankets, leather bags, llama dolls, chocolate and other ethnic foods, will be present at the fundraiser too.


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Founded in 1996, Kusikuy is a pioneer in sustainable fashion. "I wanted to build a company that honors and respects the amazing tradition of handmade fashion in Bolivia and highlights the alpaca yarn, which is warmer than lambswool and softer than cashmere – while also being fashion forward and appealing to contemporary style and sensibilities," explained founder, Tamara Stenn. Stenn relays on a team of NYC designers to design the Kusikuy and works with over 300 women in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia to create them.

"Each glove takes 12 hours to knit and has over 2,000 stiches," explained Stenn. Kusikuy is one of the last companies in the world still hand knitting with knitting needles. Most others companies now use large looms. Needle knitting gives more design and color control as well as high degree of quality. More information on the event may be found on Facebook. Information on the company may be found at kusikuy.com/welcome/