Cambodia: Malia Designs
Phnom Penh Sewing Group
Most folks in the U. S. probably don’t realize that they use feed bags on a regular basis - dog food, cat food and other pet food bags including bird seed bags- are made from stronger material than normal bags. This is because they are made from woven polypropylene, which uses spun plastic (polypropylene) threads, and is characterized by being tough and durable, able to be printed with high quality graphics and very few resources have been spent to creat it. Also, it is recyclable.
But for the people in marginalized communities, feed bags such as these can become a source of income. In the heart of Phnom Penh, the capital and most populous city of Cambodia, a fair trade cooperative called Malia Designs partners with artisans from local communities. The focus is to work with mainly women and disabled persons who are vulnerable to sex trafficking.
One such cooperative is a small sewing group made up of mainly deaf and disabled individuals. The group has developed an extensive training program to ensure artisans obtain the necessary skills for career success. All artisans are paid a full salary while completing their extensive training, and supported to choose a path that provides for financial independence and growth.
And the products they make not only are eco-friendly but also fun and useful. To see for yourself, click here: