The Artisans


Makers of latex rubber animals. Athkam Lanka is committed to uplifting and providing employment to artisans in rural communities in Sri Lanka. Each item is carefully handcrafted and painted and takes weeks to create. Athkam Lanka's products are manufactured using natural latex sap harvested from the Hevea brasiliensis (rubber) tree in Sri Lanka. After harvesting, this latex is processed at a facility that works to ISO standards. The latex compound meets Australian, EU and US standards as it does not contain any harmful ingredients, either to children or the environment. Anthem Lanka uses non-toxic paints that are certified safe for kids.


The Biji-biji Initiative is a social enterprise, in Malaysia, that aims to share progressive ideas with everyone. They champion sustainable living, reuse waste creatively and support collaborative production; and aim to inspire with fresh and fun approaches to sustainable living. They make upcycled bags out of discarded material such as seat belts, advertising banners and felt. The Biji-biji Initiative tracks itself against 12 Key Sustainability Indicators that measuring the social, environmental and economic impact of making each product. The indicators include paying above the minimum wage, sourcing local materials, being innovative and waste reduction.


Craft Link is a Vietnamese not – for – profit WFTO-accredited organisation which helps traditional craft producers to revive their culture and improve their livelihoods through handicraft production and marketing. Craft Link works as closely as possible with the people who actually produce the handicrafts. Craft Link gives preference to producers who are marginalised or disadvantaged, such as ethnic minority people in remote areas, street children, and people with disabilities. Producer groups, organisations, or small businesses that are investing in the handicraft producers' social welfare and not simply treating them as a means of production are given preference.


Dunitz & Company collaborates with local artisans in Guatemala. A group of Mayan women hand make beaded jewellery primarily with Czech and Japanese beads. The glass jewellery is handmade by a local artisans in Guatemala City. Other elements such as ribbons, leather, vintage buttons, coins or semiprecious stone chips along with traditional Guatemalan weaving and embroidery are incorporated into the creations. Dunitz & Company support and contribute to several organisations in the community where the beadwork is crafted, including child education, lunch programs, mother-infant care and a free library that offers reading classes. Dunitz & Company is a member of the Fair Trade Federation in America.


Healing the Wounded Heart Shop was founded in 2009 by Spiral Foundation - a NGO that works with children with a disability in Viet Nam. Healing the Wounded Heart Shop design and handcraft products using traditional Vietnamese designs, from traditional Vietnamese silk and textiles made by the ethnic minority tribes of Northern Viet Nam and also from recycled materials including aluminium soda cans, plastic water bottles and plastic snack wrappers. The artisans, have a disability (mostly dead) are from Hue, Viet Nam. The social enterprise is fair trade verified by the Fair Trade Federation. Net proceeds are put towards a sustainability fund for the artisans and also for surgeries for people with congenital heart disease in Central Vietnam.


Selyn Handlooms has been in operation since 1991 and engages skilled artisans, men, women and youth from rural parts of Sri Lanka, to revive the country’s tradition of the loom weavers in creating handmade products. Selyn now has nearly 1000 member artisans, across 16 workshops, and all of their products are manufactured following World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) fair trade principles. Selyn aims to not only empower the artisans financially but to also help the artisans improve their living standards.


Tohe is a social enterprise based in Vietnam. Tohe’s project is about creating opportunities for disadvantaged children to have fun, but also helping them get the benefits of a weekly free art playground. Selected artworks are then redesigned and printed on lifestyle products such as clothes, accessories, home wares, and toys. The artists receive 5% of the product price as royalties. A portion of the profits are also used to fund the creative classes and scholarship programs for talented children. Tohe products are handcrafted from environmentally friendly cotton materials. They are digitally printed to help recreate the original drawing with integrity.


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