- 2018 -
We have started clothes production in India from last year. We need to develop our items more modern style for increasing sales amount. September was the best season to visit India for discussion with business partners. I traveled Delhi and Jaipur for installing Indian influences to Thai items. Our tries have made good result in sales which achieved the best in our history.
Pacific Import & Export
About 20 workers among 300 are working for Lofty Bamboo items. We have checked risk assessment last year already, so this time we have concentrated to produce new items for winter season. The most important mission in this visit was development of embroidery designs on dress and tops. We have altogether talked a lot and made samples to be satisfied each other. Their traditional embroidery skills supported our new designs in modern styles. We are very appreciated to staffs and came back to Bangkok.
We visited Maehong Song, Chiang Mai and Lamphun province. We have many producers in northern Thailand for long time. First visit was to Maehong Song province. Discussion with Lisu Sewing Group was first priority mission in this travel. They are living near to Pai town, many tourists gather in these days. Feature of town has been changed, definitely different from its of 15 years ago, but their lives haven’t been changed a lot. Khun Inthipon is a leader of this group. She is always supporting us to develop new designs and improve products quality. We have started to check risk assessment for first time. Their lives became better than before we started business. Four people are working for Lofty Bamboo items, they look so happy to work with us and enjoy their works taking care of their children in their village. They need some tools and medicines so we decide to send them from Bangkok.
Next visit was Khun Pang Sewing Group in Chiang Mai. We have been working long time, almost 8 years. We have checked risk assessment and confirmed price decision, etc. We have discussed mainly about delivery delay. Four people are working for Lofty Bamboo
items, but they all have another works and don’t have enough time to sew bags and accessories. That is problem for us to get enough items in high season. We have talked how to improve it and decided to make execution order depend of priority. We need to continue to make order in case of matter.
Final visit was Huai Tom village, silver producers, who are living in Lamphun province, have been working for Lofty Bamboo 10 years already. In the past time we visited two times in a year, but now telephone and internet system have been developed to make our communication easily, so this visit was first time in this 2 years. We met a leader Khun Bell she is helping her mother after graduating university. She and producers are very positive to preserve their Karen traditions. We have checked risk assessment and confirmed their lives are happy and grateful. Karen tradition has been preserved in this village indeed. We hope to make long term support to they can live in their peace village.
- 2017 -
We have invited Mr. Jin to access our fair trade activities in April and became a guaranteed member in July. We have visited four producers to make good communication and access risk management, check their health conditions and soon.
We have visited Nonthaburi Accessory Group on 6th. We have worked together two years and more. A leader, Ms. Wip and Lofty Bamboo start to make original accessory designs and sell in three shops. After meeting for business cooperation, we have ordered accessories constantly and support producers to get sustainable income.
On 11th, we visited Sanpong Village in Chiang Mai Province. Three makers are working for Lofty Bamboo sewing clothes designed by us. They are living in remote area from market place and have no opportunity to work in factories. We have discussed their health conditions and needs for their sustainable lives. Lofty Bamboo decided to work with them for long time.
On 12th, we have visited a new producer group making baskets in Sanpa village. Payao province. This village was introduced by Ms. Erina Kondo who worked as a Jica(Japan International Cooperate Agency) staff. She supported it for selling their handicrafts in city markets. We discussed a lot of agenda and Fair Trade philosophy for starting business cooperation.
We have started to make clothes in India this year with Pacific Export Jaipur. Producers in Thailand cannot supply enough quantity because we started new shop last year. We need fair trade consensus between us before ordering our designs. We visited on 18th to discuss for understanding each other to build strong business cooperation.
- 2016 -
We started 3rd shop in Sukhumvit area from March, so we spent a lot of time and effort to dedicate new shop. This year we visited four producers near from Bangkok.
In Jun, we visited Araya-clothing group, our long business partner.We met three staffs working in her office and seven staffs working for embroidery. Embroidery group is divided in two. One of them is Muslim women, another is Thai house wives. They are always working in their home living with their families. We confirmed our orders always supported them to stay their home providing sustainable incomes.
On 19th of Aug, we welcomed peer visit, Mr. Vitoon from green Net. We visited Chainat Beads group, E-sai weaving group and Guate Leather Co., Ltd. He gave a lot of advices for managing company along Fair Trade principles. We are very appreciated to him.
On 5th of September, we visited E-sai Village situated in Uthaithani province with Japanese artist for match flag work-shop. This event was organized by Japan Foundation with recommendation from Lofty Bamboo because there are three important producers are living in this Karen village. Students made a lot of flags cheering Thai and Japan football team. We are convinced that this opportunity was precious time for not only students but also Japan Foundation and Lofty Bamboo. We shared happiest time in this mountain village.
- 2015 -
Economic development in Asia has lifted tens of millions of people out of poverty. However the gap between rich and poor is wider than before. Thailand is one of the most unequal societies. Bangkok is entirely different world from other provinces. The extreme concentration of wealth has sometimes caused resentment and violence. Here Bangkok is always the stage of troubles. We lost a lot of opportunities to sell our products from villagers. Our total sale decreased 20% of last year because of political conflict. Unstable social condition and income down affected our activities for Fair Trade.
2014 October Trip
On October 2014, we visited 3 groups of producer.
First group was a new producer group located at Angthong province. They produce water-hyacinth handicraft. They supplied Lofty Bamboo a product known as Round Basket series.
This group was founded in 1989, the group leader is Khun Pranee Chanthaworn, a healthy woman aged 66 years old with a lot of medal and trophy from handicraft contests. At that time they made rattan basketry. However, in 1991, they changed material to water-hyacinth because the province has 2 main rivers and many canals which made material sourcing simpler.
They gave us a warm welcome. And all of them seems delighted to do handicraft. We interviewed 3 group’s members and they commented that they are satisfied with these job, they earned sufficienct income to care for their children at home. Moreover member’s benefits are satisfactory such as subventions, insurance and loan.
Mr. Toshinori Takasawa, Lofty Bamboo’s designer had a discussion with Khun Pranee about product design. Lofty Bamboo's customers can expect to see new water-hyacinth products soon.
After Angthong province, we went to Chainat province to visit the Beads craft producers. They have made beads craft for Lofty Bamboo for 4 years. This year Ms. Boonchauy Wandet, group's leader is unwell. As such, her son in law, Mr. Worrawat Wandet is currently responsible for her work and Ms. Noi her relative, is responsible for the product’s design.
We had a discussion about new design and Lofty Bamboo can expect to see them soon.
Lastly, we visited Khun Nuch, Khun Noi and Khun Su, Lofty Bamboo’s Weavers E-Mad E-Sai village. They have supplied Lofty Bamboo unique woven fabric for 7 years. They always welcome us like we are part of their family. They prepared local food for us that is plain and simple yet it has impressed us.
Everyone is satisfied weaving fabric for Lofty Bamboo and hoped that our sales of E-Sai series will improve.
For the year 2015, we seek to change color of E-Sai series.
- 2014 -
In this year we visited 4 producer groups.
On 24-25th March, we visited producers in Chiang Mai province.
First meeting was Lahu Handicrft, managed by Ms. Kessinee our longest business partner. We met 3 staffs working for Lofty Bamboo. They are always working their home with their families in peace. We are very satisfied to talk with them and know they are very happy to work with us.
Next was Pang Handicraft handed over works of Lofty Bamboo from Ms. Apiradi, our past important business partner passed away because of cancer.
We met Ms. Pang and two other staffs supporting her to work only Lofty Bamboo works. We talked about Fair Trade and discussed how to work well in our future. This opportunity was very meaningful for both of us.
Next day meeting was at Lamphun province, our long business partner for silver accessories and weaving materials. Huai Tom village is consisted by Karen hill tribes. For the long time, we regularly visited them and made good communication. Now, a daughter of leader is handing over this business after graduating university and challenging to expand it. We confirmed to support them for long year.
On 21st of December, we visited Guate Leather Co., Ltd.in Uthaithani province. They welcomed our second visit warmly and discussed Fair Trade. This company is small but well-managed along Fair trade principles. They always support our new designs development.
Thailand is still in deep impasse of political turmoil.
From November 2013, anti-government protesters have started to close roads near to Khaosan road in which one of our shops situate. It has given a strong impact to our business. Our main customers from abroad avoided to come this area because they strongly worried about being involved in this conflict and violence. As a result, sales of Khaosan shop decreased sharply. It off course affected our gross order to producers.
Thailand has a great potential to be a best destination for travelers from the world with unique culture, foods, and nature. Political crisis deprives people of their economical opportunities. People are really embarrassing by this conflict. We hope political leaders will gather immediately and discuss how to lead people in normal lives.
Total sale of company in 2013 is less three million Baht than 2012.
Beginning of year was seriously affected by economical downward of EU countries, especially Spain, Italy.
Until 2012, many customers from southern Europe came to our shop, both retail customers and wholesale buyers.
In 2013, Chinese customers were increasing instead of Europeans.
We tried to adopt our products to Asian customers for size, colors of clothes and bags.
Sale of summer season was quit well because many Japanese customers came.
Facebook page were supporting to increase Thai and Asian customers for getting better communication with them. Many customers mentioned about Facebook in our shops and checked our items in their countries.
End of the year was definitely affected by political conflict.
We have lost a lot of sales opportunities in November and December.
We, all staffs and producers are strongly hoping to finish this turmoil and return to be peaceful lives.
- 2013 -
- 2012 -
Beginning of 2012, we started to improve our website in order to inform our mission and activities widely and correctly to visitors. Many customers are interested in on-line purchase and joining Face Book now. I’m convinced that new website gave us a result for stepping forward.
Turnover of this year finally reached our target. We are much appreciated for customers, producers, WFTO members and supporters.
We visited new producer in Sukhothai Province. This village is situated near border to Myanmar, involving about 100 Hmong hill tribe families. Women have their traditional embroidery skill which is deserve to preserve. We decided to work with them.
We visited Chiang Mai Province many hill tribes are living in. Karen Silver producer group is one of them. In Huai Tom village, villagers are living peacefully preserving their original traditions. But now, they are facing a trouble with high price of silver material. They feel it is difficult to sell high priced accessories. Some of them abandoned to work in their village and left to work in cities, living separately from their families. It is time to make more efforts to create more opportunities to work with them.
We visited Chainat, Uthaithani and Suphanburi Province. In Chainat Province, beads craft group is one of our partners. We discuss new designs to launce in this year. Trade amount between us increases year and year. Their skill is improving dramatically for adopting global market.
In Uthaithani Province, we met Karen Fabric Producers. Their living quality becomes better and better because our trade amount is stable. They are getting sufficient cash every month from sales in Loft Bamboo.
In Suphanburi Province, there is a weaving group of typical Thai Fabric. They use large looms with traditional skill. We discussed new colors and design with natural dye for new textiles.
Totally, we can work smoothly in this year because of no serious confrontations between political parties, although we must remind that political problem is still going on in Thailand. We need to observe carefully what will happen next and corporate firmly with producers to develop new products and designs. We must not forget that improving quality is one of our priorities for adopting global market.
- 2011 -
Thailand cannot solve political issues yet and is still in flood problem. City center is gathering investment from other countries, but villagers cannot get any benefit from it. It is clear that difference of income between city people and villagers is enlarged more and more.
In 2011, we can sell over our target until Oct but, because of flood situation, we lost sales 30% in Nov and Dec. It resulted in dramatic downward sales in this year. We are still in aftermath of tragic situation.
We visited Supanbury Weaving Group to study natural dying system. Process of natural dying is more difficult than dying with chemical matters. We studied some kinds of plant we can use for dying, as well.
We visited Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center in Laos. We learned ethnic groups around Luang Phrabang. We are interested in Akha Biladjo! Project , supporting Akha Noukhoui tribe. We support them by selling their products in stores and hope to visit their village to learn their lives and develop products together in next opportunity.
We visited Saori Project in Phang-ga Province. This was regular visit once in a year. We met together to develop new designs.
We visited Chainat Beads Craft Group and E-sai Village in Uthai Thani Province. We observed producers living better than last year. We developed new designs and discussed about Fair Trade.
We could work actively until September, visiting producers not only in Thailand but Laos. After serious flood came to central Thailand, our business was forced to shrink. Foreign tourists avoided to visit Thailand. Bangkok people evacuated from Bangkok. Cosmopolitan city became a silent city. We are disappointed of final performance of this year and hope same tragedy will never happen again.