We chose to partner with this cooperative because of their wide range of artisan talents-- plus, the cooperative is run by 20 brilliant women!
Our partners in Vietnam specialize in handwoven silk products, a traditional form of Vietnamese craftsmanship that has struggled to compete in modern textile markets. As you drive into the weaving town, you can hear the clicking of automated weaving machines coming from every angle; families that can afford an automated machine are typically making bath towels to compete with the Chinese market. However, our fair trade artisan partners are committed to preserving this 200-year old tradition and local cultures, employing vulnerable groups and improving the quality of life for artisans around the country. Silk is spun by hand, dyed with natural materials, and handwoven to create beautiful scarves.
This team of 50 artisans, 90% women, are making our best-selling reusable bamboo utensils and straws. Organic bamboo is cut (don't worry, it grows back speedy quick!), cleaned, and measured into the size of the straws. They use a little drill-type tool to hollow out and clean the bamboo, which is later treated with thin layer of cashew oil. It's a sustainable process from start to finish!