purpose + ETHICS

In a market flooded with fast fashion and extractive business practices, we endeavor to redefine the concept of quality, inspire ethical business practices, and replace exploitation with empowerment.


When you think of a beautiful, quality product, what comes to mind?  One might consider materials and craftsmanship, and this certainly plays a part, but there’s more to it than that. At Ninakuru, we believe true beauty is holistic, and the tangible quality of our products is strongly influenced by the intangibles – empathy, respect, appreciation, dignified wages, and self-esteem.

There is a direct interdependency between the well-being of makers and the quality of their craft, and a beautiful product can only be created when we honor every aspect of the process as a whole.

From concept to market, we support our team of artisans. We value their potential, and we respect their talent and creativity – not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it helps them thrive, and it drives their creative passion from a place of dignity.

When we recognize and honor our shared talents, when we collaborate and create holistically beautiful pieces, we derive strength, motivation and purpose not only for one another, but through one another.

Honoring this holistic definition of beauty and quality is the inspiration for everything we do.


Makers and artisans around the world have suffered centuries of exploitation. We cannot erase generations of abuse, but we can change how we live our lives and how we conduct business today. 

In acknowledgment of this, our founder and designer Jennifer Moray has dedicated herself to developing direct, long-term, restorative relationships with marginalized makers and artisans, with a particular interest in women’s artisanal collectives.


In our eyes, what we wear is a reflection of who we are and what we value, and we can only value others when we value ourselves. We want you to feel good about looking beautiful wearing our products, confident in the fact they were made with love and integrity. We want to help you invest in an experience which will last for many years to come, in a product worthy of passing on as an heirloom, and in a network of talented people who take genuine pride in what they do.

When you purchase a Ninakuru, you become part of this cycle. You give purpose to talented artisans, you reduce unnecessary suffering, and you support our dreams of connecting people in meaningful ways. This is what we mean by holistic quality. You can not only see the difference; you can feel it. It’s the result of open-hearted artistry, the beauty that transpires from simply being good to one another.


From the beginning, we have put people before profits. We believe this is not only compatible with success, it is essential.

The truth is, exploitation suppresses creativity, drive and purpose. It dims people’s inner light by diminishing their self-worth. This has a negative impact on their quality of life, and inevitably, the quality of their work.

Empowerment, through respect, dignified wages, and other intangibles, nourishes people’s self-worth and sparks the passion necessary for excellence. Once this happens, it is reflected positively in the holistic quality of their personal lives as well as their craft.


Translated from Quechua, the language of the Incan people, Ninakuru means “firefly”, reminding us that self-worth and beauty radiate from within, and each of us has an inner glow worthy of being noticed.

We are grateful and honored to have you join us on this journey.


While Ninakuru is not exclusively vegan, we do have some vegan options and are in the process of developing more.

Some of our hats and bags are made with leather, which is a by-product of the cattle industry, but we never use leather from animals who were directly sourced for that purpose only.  While some renowned hat designers are using beaver and rabbit pelts for their felt hats, we believe the practice of killing animals to make a hat is not in line with our values.  Instead, we use cruelty-free felt from 100% virgin sheep wool sourced in South America.  The sheep are comfortably sheared without doing harm to the animal, then set free to roam. We also use animal-derived foraged game feathers in the decoration of some hats.

We recognize and highly respect the altruistic values of our vegan customers, and we are learning so much from you.  We’re always looking for new product innovations that meet our strict quality expectations and raise the bar of our ethical standards.  If you have an insight or suggestion you’d like to share please contact us at service@ninakuru.com

To make your shopping experience a bit easier, we put together a collection of our certified vegan Panama hats which contain no animal materials, glues or decoration so you don’t have to wonder. Simply look for “Vegan” in our menu or click here.