Fair Trade Scarves – Weaving a Better Future in Rural Laos
By supporting small scale farming, traditional weaving and natural dyeing, fair trade scarves are making a real difference to the lives of women and rural communities in Laos.
From The Source specialise in quality handmade scarves made from natural fabrics, and in an age of fast fashion and faceless high street shops, aim to connect consumers with the people that make the products they buy. The latest range of handwoven cotton scarves by From The Source are truly unique and have a lovely handmade feel, and making them is offering new opportunties for women in Laos and helping to provide sustainable rural development.
In Laos there are great traditions of raising cotton and silk on small scale farms, and using locally available plants to produce natural dyes for fabrics. However, some agricultural development in Laos is threatening this small scale farming and local biodiversity, as commercial crops such as corn and rubber are being promoted as a way to generate more income from farming. This is completely changing local agriculture patterns and livelihoods, and threatening to wipe out many of the raw materials for Lao handicrafts. In some areas it is increasingly difficult to find villages that are raising silk and growing cotton, and there is evidence that new industrial crops are causing environmental problems like landslides and flashfloods because of clear cutting and the use of tractors to plough hillsides.
By increasing the demand for Lao handicrafts and textiles, From The Source enable more people to earn an income in rural Laos from textile production, and offer opportunities for skilled paid employment, especially for women. By supporting the traditional crafts of weaving and natural dyeing, the negative impacts of the introduction of large scale commercial crops in Laos may be limited.
From The Source encourage organic farming practices and are working towards organic certification for cotton products from Laos. By supporting small scale farming, traditional weaving and natural dyes fair trade scarves are making a real difference to the lives of people in Laos. However, none of this is possible unless the designs are what people want to wear – Check out the current range online: