Not only does Cambodian Threads sell fair trade silk scarves handmade by a family of artisans in Cambodia, but for every scarf sold, the organization will buy school supplies for ten Cambodian children who attend Preah Takov Primary School in Prek Bongkong.
Intricately designed, one scarf takes about six to eight days to complete. Each handmade scarf is made from raw silk, and then coloured with natural dye, dried, spun with a spinning wheel, set on a wooden loom, woven into a scarf, and finally, the ends are twisted in order to prevent fraying. Efforts are made in order to preserve the traditional Cambodian silk art.
Interestingly, Cambodian Threads is based in Cambodia, which means that its practices are closer to the artisans and the students that are being helped. All of the sweatshop-free scarves are handmade by the Heng family, who live in a small Cambodian village, Prek Bongkong. Prek Bongkong is situated on the Mekong River in the Kandal Province. Due to the remote location of this rural village, which is accessible by ferry, there is not an abundance of economic, educational and health resources. Most of those that live in Prek Bongkong make about $20 to $40 U.S. dollars a month.
Founded in 2009 by Jacob Daniels and Steve Patton, Cambodian Threads is different than your average fair trade crafts or artisan product. By keeping their commitment local, Cambodian Thread is able to build community and truly witness the difference made. School supplies given to students at the Preah Takov Primary School include essential learning materials, for instance, maps, pencils, pens and writing material.
Cambodian Threads defines fair trade as “a system of exchange that seeks to create greater equity and partnership in international trade” which “creates opportunities for economically and socially marginalized producers, supports safe and empowering working conditions, ensures the rights of children and respects cultural identity.” Committed to making a change, Cambodian Threads empowers a small community by selling beautiful silk scarves.
Cambodian Threads Website