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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lao Silk & Craft

Lao Silk and Craft is a company that seeks to help and support Lao producers enter markets that appreciate the distinctive arts & crafts of Lao. Boby, the founder says, "I believe that supporting trade is a way out of the poverty rural communities face. I want to encourage the villagers to become self sufficient and preserve their culture and traditions. I want to ensure the continued development and training of local farmers and weavers."

Lao Silk and Craft is the only Lao business enterprise recognised by the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT) for its practice of fair trade with the Lao mulberry farmers and silk weavers. Here is a good blog with more information.

This is Kommaly Chanthavong. In Febuary, 2008 during the Sustainable Living Festival, I was fortunate enough to meet Kommaly, Boby's mother, who is the inspiration behind Boby's business and founder of the non-profit organisation, Lao Sericulture Co. in Laos.

She is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee in 2005. Fantastic achievement!

All products are hand-weaved together and takes months to do. Natural dyes are used which is responsible ethically and friendly to the environment. Read this to find out more about the benefit of natural dye, and this about the labour intensive process (17 steps) to produce this wonderful product.

Lao Silk and Craft's products include traditional, hand-loomed Lao silks and traditional Hmong appliqué, embroidery and batiks transformed into beautiful fashion accessories, babyware, homewares and décor - including silk scarves and shawls, bags, cushions, quilts, wall hangings, table items, kitchen items, and baby items.

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