Braids of the Earth is a cooperative project of about 60 families in southern Brazil. The project's mission is to promote the production of craft items made from wheat straw which reflect the cultural roots of the region. This region was the primary center for wheat farming in the 1950s and was colonized by Italian and German immigrants. These settlers produced hats and bags from wheat straw giving rise to the local tradition. The project has partnered with a variety of public and private institutions, local companies, consultants and designers to promote the sustainable production of these goods as an alternative income source for the project families. The Braids of the Earth collection is inspired by the floral themes and pastoral settings of southern Brazil. The collection includes baskets, hand bags and tableware items.