Real Deal Brazil founder Walter R. Perkins Jr. has a longstanding love affair with Brazil, and would likely find some excuse to get there even if work didn't periodically require it!
On his last trip there, Mr. P., as we all call him, got a couple snapshots of one of the coastal markets he likes to frequent, wandering around and looking at local wares. It was at just such a market in 2008 where Mr. P. chanced upon the prototype of our own distinctive headwear, which he later took to a remote inland town known for its hatmaking, employing a family sewing business there to modify the design into what has since become our classic Real Deal Brazil recycled-tarp hat.
|Coastal Brazilian market, No. 2.|
But Mr. P. returned from his most recent trip to the steamy south loaded down with a lot more than just photos and his usual stories to fill us with envy cuz we didn’t get to go with him! This time, he also brought with him a huge sheet of weathered old canvas truck tarp, that heavy, tightly woven cotton material at the very heart of what we do.
Our hats and bags are, of course, handmade from recycled tarps that once stretched across the beds of cargo trucks, like the ones in the photo immediately below.
In Brazil, the world’s fifth-largest country, most cargo is transported by trucks, their payloads frequently protected by such heavy canvas tarps, which wind up being pummeled by deluges of blinding rain, baked and broiled by scalding heat, whipped by harsh winds and assaulted by various road debris. By some estimates, there’s enough tarp barreling along Brazilian roads to cover the entire surface of the moon, and then some!
|Above and below left, workers at the small São
Paulo business that collects old truck tarps for us|
to send to our sewing group in central Brazil.
The final photo, below, is of Mr. P. back in the U.S. of A., in hometown Greenville, N.C., holding up that recycled truck tarp he brought back from Brazil. (Note the cool printing on the tarp, which explains how snippets of Portuguese lettering and unusual graphics sometimes pop up on our hats and bags.)
|Mr. P. back in the United States with a sheet of recycled Brazilian truck tarp.|
The Real Deal Brazil – because one person’s old tarp is another’s new treasure!