Although these hats have always been woven in Ecuador, they were first called a 'Panama Hat' when the Panama Canal was being constructed in the 19th century in Panama, South America.
The light weight yet strong hats were perfect for protecting the workers from burning in the tropical sun. The hats are woven from the Toquilla palm, indigenous to the coastal regions of Ecuador. Their history can be traced as far back as the Incas who were the first to weave hats from this fibrous plant, first observed in the 16th century.
Our Panama Hats are all fairly traded and ethically sourced ourselves, directly from our friends in Ecuador.