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Lao Silk Weaving

A brief history The art of silk manufacture was invented in China as early as 3500BC. In legend, it was the Empress Leizu who was responsible for discovering silk and until 200BC the secret remained closely guarded within China. The material captured the imagination of everybody who came into contact with it, making it at […]

Mekong Quilts

Introducing Mekong Quilts In March last year, we visitied Mekong Quilts in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. HCMC, or Saigon is a hugely bustling, hot city in the South of Vietnam near the Mekong Delta. More Western in feel to the quieter, more stately capital of Hanoi in the North. Packed with history and the […]

Meet the makers – Behind the scenes at Mekong Quilts

Our friends at Mekong Quilts work hard to support communities in rural areas of Vietnam, helping them gain a sustainable source of income. In these rural areas agriculture is not enough to survive and the poorest of people are living on as little as half a dollar a day. Mekong Plus, a not-for-profit organisation, helps […]

Reaching Out – Handmade in Hoi An

Introducing Reaching Out On 10th March, 2014, we visited Binh Le, the founder of Reaching Out. We were a week into a sourcing trip and very happy to arrive in Hoi An for the first time in 10 years. We had been in touch with Binh and his wife Quyen in the weeks leading up […]

The Shangri La Farms Story – A Socially Responsible Business

When the Malik family first discovered Shangri-La in Yunnan Province, China they were astonished by the beautiful scenery, pristine air and bountiful valleys, with surrounding snow-capped mountains. Shangri-La was a heavenly place, bursting with wild flowers in bloom, bees, butterflies and crystal blue skies with pure white clouds. The Malik children; sisters Sahra (a graphic […]

What a pa-lather! Why use natural soap?

Amongst the many wonderful products available on our website are 100% natural soaps from Shangri La Botanicals. But what is a ‘natural soap’ and why should you consider using them over other soaps? A brief history of soap The whole business of making soap is thousands of years old.  The first evidence of the manufacture […]

Lunch in KaHe, a Wa Village

During our trip to PuErh with the T-project, we were fortunate to have lunch with YeYi a Wa woman who was at the vanguard of local people wanting to improve their situation through tea farming. She was a very kind, cheerful and generous host and we would happily have stayed longer if we could. What […]

Threads of Yunnan and Danyun Fairtrade

Based in China’s city of eternal spring, Kunming in Yunnan province, Threads of Yunnan have been working with local people to help them make a fair wage from their traditional skills since 1998. The company was started by Bitten Hogh, a Danish ex-pat, who moved to Kunming to teach economics at Yunnan University in 1994. […]

Norlha – Luxurious yak wool products

On our first sourcing trip in 2013, we journeyed to Shangri La in northern Yunnan province, China. While scouring the numerous tourist oriented shops for true examples of local handicrafts, we came across a small collection of scarves which seemed to stand out before we’d even had a chance to feel them. Our feelings were […]

Heroic hemp

Hemp is renowned for being one of the most environmentally friendly and versatile crops grown by man and has even been referred to as a carbon negative raw material. It requires minimal or no pesticides or herbicides to grow, due to its antibacterial properties and needs little water, renewing soil with each growth cycle. Its […]