JESSICA ROSE MORENO
Hi! I’m Jessica Rose Moreno, an experienced fashion designer, traveller and textile lover, and Rose Moreno is my very personal and shared passion project, bringing my two worlds together.
I was born in the UK, to a British journalist and a Mexican historian, and as a child travelled extensively throughout Mexico with an inherited sense of adventure and curiosity. Delving into the towns and landscapes, I fell in love with the array of colours and patterns, and with the incredible artistry of the indigenous craftspeople. From a young age I envisioned exploring my own creativity and mixed-heritage through collaborations with Mexican artisans.
In 2018, After 10+ years of working for major global brands and discontent with the industry’s working ways, I permanently moved to Mexico City and Rose Moreno was born. Rose Moreno is rooted in my childhood vision, but has grown, with the aim to contribute to artisan self-empowerment, raise awareness about their value to Mexico’s culture and economy, all whilst making a conscious effort to protect the environment.
MEET THE MAKERS– THE ESSENCE OF RM!
Rose Moreno however, is not just about me Jess, it is more about the craftspeople that inspired the project in the very first place, and without whom this project would not be possible, they are intrinsic to its being. I rely on their expertise, age-old techniques they've inherited from their ancestors and I'm extremely inspired by their innate sense of colour and pattern.
So let's meet the craftspeople...
THE PEDAL LOOM WEAVERS
A key partner is Kinal Antsetik of San Cristobal de las Casas, an offshoot of the cooperative Jolom Mayaetik, which houses and trains young indigenous women on the pedal loom. The workshop is led by master weaver Don Marco Chiguil, whom over 20 years has mentored approximately 50 apprentices with this valuable life-skill. At present Angelina and Pascuala are going through the programme.
The Mayarte pedal-loom workshop in Zinacantan, is the most recent weaving partner to join the Rose Moreno team, founded by Francisco Marcolino Sánchez, it employs up to 8 pedal-loom weavers, and is growing due to its great quality and efficiency- providing increasing work to the local community.
THE BACKSTRAP LOOM WEAVERS
Currently, I am working with two back-strap loom weaving families and cooperatives- Mujeres Sembrando la Vida in Zinacantan, Chiapas, comprising of the Hernandez and Gonzalez families- whom weave a compact fabric; and the Vazquez and Gomez families in the community of Paraiso de Grijalva in Venustianzo Carranza, Chiapas- whom weave a gauze-like quality due to their hot local climate. Both groups of women decide how to distribute the work and set their own prices.
THE CUT & SEW TEAM
Colectivo de Innovación, by Samuel and Lilí Diaz, is our cut and sew workshop in San Cristobal de las Casas. They hire and train a cross-section of young men and women, as well as facilitate our hand-embroidered finish by women from the indigenous town of San Andres Larrainzer. After many conversations with Samuel and Lilí, I'm positive that they share the right ideals in providing a safe and friendly working environment with relatively good remuneration, which they seek to improve with their growth and which I hope Rose Moreno will contribute towards.
OUR ORGANIC COTTON & NATURAL DYEING PARTNERS
Julio Dominguez, an anthropologist from Chiapas, works with 300 agricultural families across Oaxaca and Chiapas to cultivate chemical and pesticide-free native cotton. Julio has spent over 25 years researching and investing in his cotton project, working with the Narro University (Agricultural University of Saltillo, Mexico), he has rescued many once-extinct native cotton plants and provides the farmers with the training and materials to harvest the cotton crops. Taking advantage of the existing maize crops and working with the symbiosis of earth and rainwater, their system allows the most sustainable possible outcome, combined with industrial machinery at certain stages to provide an accesible organic product. Please see our We Love Process section to read more.
Julio delivers his cotton-yarn raw, so it still needs to be coloured, and therefore I've teamed up with Anabel of Antesis and Ninot of Saualli Textiles in Mexico City for dying with natural and seasonal pigments which are often recycled many times before going back into the water system as biodegradable matter.
Please see our Values & Process section to read about the industrial cotton supplier we use for some of our product.