Royal Knit is the result of a family tradition with knowledge of and passion for ancient weaving techniques that have been passed from generation to generation. It was in the 70’s when Cutipa Benita and her husband, Sebastián López, started their careers as volunteer teachers at the Caritas Program, helping farmers in the communities around Titicaca Lake, in the Altiplano region of Peru. At that time, this agriculture region had been severely affected by the drought. During their volunteer work, Benita and Sebastian realized they needed to run training programs to add more value to the ancient sewing techniques that many inhabitants had as a way to rescue these skills, promote cultural identity, and add more commercial value to the handicrafts of the region.
After having completed their volunteer program, both began trading woven clothing made by ladies and gentlemen in those communities, selling these textile crafts in local shops and resorts in Cusco. Due to the innovation and high quality of the products, sales were rapidly increasing.
Worldwide customers who visited Cusco, were also very interested in the products. Gradually, the business grew and it was decided to install a weaving workshop. It was formally created to be an inclusive workshop where single mothers and inhabitants abandoned by government would have a working opportunity. Also, women suffering from domestic violence would have the chance to work and weave as psychological therapy. This type of work gave women the opportunity to work from their homes, providing them income in order to reach economic independence and successfully afford education for their children. The workshop also featured men but mainly focused on the development and empowerment of women and their textile production.
In the 90’s, when terrorism became part of Peruvians’ lives, this young couple decided to move to Lima to have their children educated in a safer environment. At the same time, they opened a logistic office where they would export goods produced in Cusco and Puno. Years later, their 3 children grew up and completed their University Degrees, which was when they became more identified with the work of their parents and decided to join the passion for fabric and continue the family business and tradition. As a second generation and after a market analysis, they all agreed they needed to introduce new product lines and textile machinery to improve the quality of finished products and be more competitive in markets such as Italy, that mainly uses alpaca fibers (which is now as known as cashmere.)
In was in the year 2000 when Royal Knit was formally created and specialized in the production of clothing and textiles of excellent quality. RK also accepted the challenge of participating in major Fairs in Germany, Japan, France and United States every year.
The growth of the company has been so important that today it has 35 direct employees and it has organized more than 40 workshops located in Cusco, Puno, Huancavelica and Lima, providing around 400 people with work and conditions under the principles of Fair Trade.