To empower women through the ethical and transparent trade of beautiful handmade products.
To create a global community of ethical shoppers who make a conscious choice to impact the women who create these products.
What we do:
Weavers is a registered trademark of Sonas that supports women to reach financial independence for themselves and their families by providing vocational training, employment opportunities, education programs and leadership development. We are more than just another e-commerce platform as we connect you directly to the origin of where your product was made and the story behind each piece.
How we do it:
- The Sonas team who work on the ground, find the women living in poverty who want to become financially independent.
- Sonas train and equip the women with the skills they need. They become artisans!
- Sonas connect them to the resources.
- Sonas connect them to the market (you)!
- The women begin to generate income to support their everyday living.
- They inspire others in their community, causing a multiplier effect.
- Remaining profits are reinvested back into the business to scale the impact.
Cambodia, also known as the ‘Kingdom of Wonder’ borders Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in South East Asia. In the 1970s, during the infamous and brutal Khmer Rouge regime, one quarter of the country’s population were murdered. The aftermaths of this event have caused many social issues from unemployment to child and adult trafficking.
Due to decades of war and social upheaval, weaving has become a dying art in Cambodia. As weavers were forced to find other endeavours, traditional techniques faded and were not shared with younger generations. This caused exports to decrease as there has been an increased level of competition from neighbouring countries. Although the weaving skills have faded, it has not been lost and Weavers aim to revive this cultural heritage.
Cambodian Weaving Village
Cambodian Weaving Village is one of Sonas' first weaving cooperative projects which create beautiful cotton scarves for Weavers. The artisans in Cambodian Weaving Village began weaving in September 2013 and created the first Weavers products. Have a look at their Facebook page.
The key objectives of the project are:
- Income generation enabling the artisans to become financially independent
- To preserve traditional skills
- To promote cultural heritage
- To marry traditional skills with modern design
- To create a viable model that can be internationally competitive
- Personal achievement and empowerment of artisans
- To encourage and maintain the 10 principles of Fair trade.
Who inspires us
We are inspired every day by the women we meet in Cambodia who create the beautiful products made for you. We are also inspired by leading designers and artisans in the developing world such as Alan Flux who have dedicated their life and unique talent for the greater benefit of others. Alan studied Haute Couture at London College of Art under the renowned Daphne Brooker. Since that he has worked in Africa, India, the Philippines and with VSO in Bangladesh, Mongolia and Cambodia. He has supported Weavers right from the beginning and for that reason we are very grateful.