Exportexa Team

Profile of CONTIGO´s partner Exportexa


Hammocks, hammock chairs and cushion covers made of cotton and polyester


Colombia to Europe (Source: Google Earth)

Barranquilla, Colombia (ca. 1,000 km north of Bogotá, at the Caribbean Sea) – distance to Europe: 8,500km

Founded in 2004


  • 2004: Founding of Exportexa with three employees, trading company for yarns on the local market and the Caribbean islands; customers were local craftsmen who produced tableware and hammocks by hand
  • 2006: Takeover of the distribution and export of these textiles, expansion of the product range to include further home textiles
  • 2008: Purchase of own machine looms and development of the production of hammocks and hammock chairs, number of employees increases by 10 persons
  • Expansion of the production plant
  • 2018: Consolidation of the two production halls

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2017

Structure of the business

Number of employees:

  • Managing Director: Zaide Salebe, also responsible for: customer acquisition and support of existing customers, coordination between incoming orders and production, export of finished orders
  • 38 employees (17 women, 21 men)
    • 32 employees in production
  • For large and special orders, additional workers can be employed

Organisation of workforce: 

  • Production of hammocks, hammock chairs and other home textiles:
    • 1. production step: Weaving of fabrics
      • The yarn is twisted to the desired thickness on spinning machines
      • The chain is threaded on by hand according to a defined design (by special hole guide, duration: approx. 4-6 hours)
      • Mechanical weaving process into firm lengths of fabric, which are then wrapped into bales and transported to the second production hall
    • 2. production step: Manual finishing of the hammocks
      • Quality control and cutting of the delivered fabric bales into hammocks, hammock chairs, etc.
      • Depending on order: twisting the loose warp threads into “cadejos” (twisted braids as a connection between hammock fabric and hanging cords)
      • Knotting and mounting of the suspension by male employees on racks
      • Renewed quality control and packaging
  • Used materials
    • Polycotton: Mixture of recycled cotton fibres (75%) and polyester (25%). The cotton fibres come from waste materials from the clothing industry
    • The wood used for the bars comes from regional plantations and is felled under governmental concession. The plantations are awarded a reforestation certificate according to strict criteria


  • Home market (45%), predominantely to tourists
  • Exports (55% ) to France, Spain, Germany, Greta Britain, Japan, Martinique, Canada


  • To expand the product range
  • Where possible: to change to environmentally friendly materials

Special features

Why does CONTIGO work with Exportexa: A dedicated family-run business with deep commitment for its employees and for traditional craftsmanship. The hammocks and accessories made of recycled cotton convince with their unique designs and quality.


Fairtrade classification

FTP = Fairtrade in Progress


Fairtrade aspects

Exportexa complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV

Fair wages

  • Minimum wage in Colombia: ca. US$ 270/month (US$ = US- Dollar)
  • Average wage at Exportexa:
    • Un-skilled employees: US$ 270-300/month
    • Skilled employees: US$ 350 – 1.000/month, depending on department
  • All employees receive a fixed salary (in the case of large orders, employees can also earn some extra by piece-rate work)
  • Payment twice a month in cash or by bank transfer
  • Exportexa pays the statutory compensations for her salaried employees:
    • Payment of the 13th monthly salary (“cesantía”): this is paid directly into a state pension fund at the beginning of the year. The interest of this salary (12%) is directly paid out to the employee.
    • Payment of the 14th salary / holiday bonus (“prima de servicios”)
    • Transport allowance is paid
    • Overtime is remunerated in accordance with statutory regulations, as well as a free meal

Humane working conditions

Working hours:

  • 8 hours/day (up to 10 hours by huge orders)
  • 3 breaks for breakfast, lunch and snack
  • 5 days/week (up to 6 days by huge orders)

Social benefits:

Exportexa pays the statutory compensations for all salaried employees:

  • Health insurance: employer pays 8,5 % and employee pays 4 % of monthly gross wage
  • Pension fund: employer pays 12%, employee pays 4% of monthly gross wage
  • Continued payment of wage in case of sickness, accidents and maternity leave (statutory regulations)
  • Paid leave (20 national and religious holidays, plus 15 recreation days)
  • All employees are covered by Exportexa´s  accident insurance
  • On the total amount of her salary costs Exportexa pays social contributions to the following institutions (statutory): the national vocational training service SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje), the national family aid organisation ICBF (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar), and to various family recreation centres (Cajas de Compensación Familiar).

Occupational safety:

  • All safety standards are met
  • Working and safety gear is provided



  • Work contracts are available
  • Pay slips are available
  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO


  • Personal visits in Barranquilla (2017)


Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: Colombia



Visiting Exportexa


Author: Janina Lange on 30. June 2019

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