Fair Trade Scarf
Picture this soft gift being dyed and woven by neighbors working together against the backdrop of their idyllic mountainside home. The preservation of a unique cultural heritage, the securing of a sustainable livelihood for rural Thai villagers, and a celebration of neighborly relations are all wrapped up into this essential accessory.
THE STORY BEHIND THE PRODUCT
Artisan Organization: Marquet
Sure, cities are fertile ground for entrepreneurship, but what about networks of villages whose residents are connected through common knowledge of craft techniques practiced in their region for generations? The Thai government’s One Tambon One Product program fuels such entrepreneurship, encouraging artisans throughout clusters of villages known as tambons to come together to work on a traditional craft.
Mrs. Sunthong, a member of the Ton Fai, or “Cotton Tree” artisan group, weaves products on a traditional hand-built loom using 100% locally-grown cotton. Whereas many rural Thai are forced to leave their families and seek work in the city to earn a secondary income, the weavers work on their craft between harvesting and planting season, integrating it into their farming lifestyle.