Nonthaburi Accessory Group
in Sanpong Village
Basket Producer Group
We have worked together two years and more. Producers invited us to discuss about Fair Trade with them. In this village, they are living in flats built by government but they don’t have enough working place around there. They are forced to commute long way to factories, shopping centers and etc.
A leader, Ms. Wip started to gather women living this area to make beads accessories, designing and organizing orders and retails to market place prepared by government. By this challenge, they could work in their homes taking care of small children. At this first start, their business worked very well but gradually lost enough sales in these five years because of economic recession in the world. After meeting for business cooperation with Lofty Bamboo, we have ordered constantly and they can get monthly income for sustainable lives.
We visited Sanpong Village in Chiang Mai Province. We have ordered to make our designs for two years but this is our first visit to meet producers.
Three makers are working for Lofty Bamboo and have their own customers in Thailand. 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 support them making business cooperation giving constant income.
We visited a new producer group working 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. Village is very small without enough working place.
We discussed a lot of agenda and Fair Trade philosophy for starting business cooperation.
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.
Araya is coordinator of clothes. She has home office at Ramkhamheang Distric.
Inside her warm home office has 4 emplyees
1. Mrs. Eed (age 60) she has worked here for 10 years. She responsible for pattern and cutting.
2. Mr. Boy responsible for social media, graphic design and stock.
3. Tootoo (age 25) he is from Mynmar, to apply for Work Permit to work in Thailand is Mrs.Araya responsibility. He responsible for cutting.
4. Sompong (age 24), She is from Mynmar. Mrs. Araya employs her through agency, her Work Permit is agency responsibility. She responsible for quantity check, quality check and packing.
Working hours 8.30 am - 5.00 pm one hour lunch break
Close on Sunday and Thailand traditional holiday.
Employees working at their own section in good environment.
- Free rice for lunch.
- Yearly bonus.
- Hospital fee.
Muslim Embroidery Group
There is 200 Muslim household at Sapansoong district, Bangkok. Machine embroidery is their tradition skill. Muslim women must embroidery their hijab (head cover)
Mrs. Araya has connection with a group of muslim women who have great embroidery skill.
1. Mrs. Sunee(age 60), group leader. about 15 years that she had working with Mrs. Araya, since she had good eyesight until now her eyes have got Catarac because of she getting old. Now she responsible for arrange work for members.
2. Mrs. Malee, 39 years old.
3. Mrs. Ariya, 44 years old.
4. Mrs. Sunan, 42 years old.
They learnt to embrodery since they was 12 years old, after graduated primary school they did not have chance to study in junior high school.
Everyone work at their own house at day time. They can not work at night because sound of sewing machine is noisy. They have first aid box at their house.
Although they do not have any benefit as Mrs. Araya employees who work at the home office, they are satisfy to working with her. Wages they get is better than others.
They never had embroidery class room but they improve their skill by keep working.
Nawamin Hand Embroidery
Nawamin Community is community of people who migrated from northeastern and north of thailand. They work in factory nearby.
10 years ago Ms. Araya arranged hand embroidery workshop, taught women in this area to embroidery on clothes and recruiting group member. There are 10 women in the group now. Almost are old women age 40-60 years old, housewives embroidery at house while taking care of kids.
Lahu village, Chiang Mai
Ms. Kesinee Tipayanet (เกศินี ทิพยเนตร) is coordinator of Lahuu handicraft. Her mother Mrs. Somsri Laoeuu (สมศรี ลาวอือ age 66) is Lahu who graduated teacher’s collage by Christian’s scholarship. She was a teacher of craft subject at government’s school. After she retired she helps her daughter craft work and house work as well.
Ms. Kesinee responsible for take order, find materials and share works. There are 3 people in charge of work for Lofty Bamboo. Ms. Sangdaern Kumtorn (แสงเดือน คำตอน age 40) in charge of sewing, Mrs. Srikum Lowu (สีคำ โลวู age 53) in charge of assemble and Mr. Aisan Jangae (ไอ้แสน จะแง age 27) in charge of assemble. There are more Lahu people waiting for job but now order is not enough to share others, so Ms. Kesinee must give opportunity of work to these 3 people first in order to help them to earn enough incomes to spend for their living otherwise they will find other job and stop improving their craft skill.
Ms. Apiradee Tepprasit was group’s leader. she took order from Lofty Bamboo and shared works to her members. Sadly she passed away because of cancer. After that Ms. Hathairat Tongsai, Pang (หทัยรัตน์ ทองใส(แป้ง) age 36) in charge of take order, arrange material share work to member and decora. There are two members Ms. Vipa Rooprakarn (วิภา รูปาการ age 33) in charge of sew small items such as purse and coin case and Ms. Angkana Reungsak (อังคณา เรืองศักดิ์ age 53) in charge of sew big items such as shopping bag.
Although they do not have any insurance or social security, they are satisfy to supply products to Lofty Bamboo because incomes they earn is enough for spend for their good living.
Huai Tom Village, Lamphun
Huai Tom is a village of Karen hill tribe. Villagers preserve their traditions and culture for long time. There are about 600 households living in this village. Main occupation is cultivation. Their abilities are weaving and making silver accessory. 25th March 2015 We had a chance to visit the village. We are very glad to see Ms. Naiyarat Kumpa (นัยรัตน์ คำปา age 24) daughter of Mrs. Wandee Kumpa (วันดี คำปา), group leader. After graduated bachelor degree she tried to work as admin of Car’s showroom for 6 months. After that she decided to go back to village. Now she in charge of assists Mrs. Wandee. This year they improved dyeing skill and clothes design. And Ms. Naiyarat Kumpa is planning to provide social security and insurance for members.
Angthong Water-hyacinth Handicraft Group founded in 1989, by Khun Pranee Chanthaworn, a healthy woman aged 66 years old accoladed with a lot of medals and trophies from handicraft contests. At that time they made rattan basketry. However, in 1991, they changed material to Water-hyacinth because Angthong has 2 main rivers and many canals which has a lot of water-hyacinth blocking river transport.
Our arrival was warmly welcomed. And all of them look delighted to produce handicraft. We met 3 members. They told us that they love this job because they earn sufficient income to care for their children at home. Furthermore, member’s benefits are good such as subventions, insurance and loan.
Mr. Toshinori Takasawa, Lofty Bamboo’s designer discussed about product design with Khun Pranee, the group’s leader. Lofty Bamboo's customers can expect to see new water-hyacinth products soon in our shop.
New producer at Angthong province.
Chainat Beads Group
Chainat Beads Group has been established for 18 years. They have worked with Lofty Bamboo for 5 years. They supplied about 15 bead craft products for Lofty Bamboo. In year 2011 – 2012, the group exponentially expanded to Saraburi province. Ms. Boonchuay, the founder and leader, participated in many government’s activities such as being a lecturer at government school, she taught students bead crafting. However, at the end of 2014, Ms. Boonchauy Wandet is unwell. Her son in law, Mr. Worrawat Wandet, is now responsible for her work and Ms. Noi, her relative, is responsible for the product’s design.
E-sai Woven Group.
Small group of 3 house wives that grew up in Karen tribe families; Khun Nuch, Khun Noi and Khun Su. They have supplied Lofty Bamboo unique woven fabric for 7 years.
Their weaving skill is excellent which is passed down through the Karen generations. They have a tradition that mothers must weave new clothe for their daughter to celebrate 15th birthday. So every woman must learn to weave. Nowadays is hard to carry on this exquisite skill because new generation migrates to city to search for jobs even though they love to live in their village more than city. We are very glad to see our weavers satisfied with their livelihood; to stay at home and care for their family whilst weaving fabric.
We had trip to visit producers at Chainat province, Uthaitani province and Suphanburi province province. Now we concern about their health. We observed their living, occupational risk and security.
All producers have better living than last year. And they welcomed us very well. We hope to continue the relationships as long as possible.
Beads Crafts Group
First day we visited producer of beads craft at Chainat province. All members have funeral fund. Some members have insurances. About occupational risk is just little accident from needles. But they assure that they are careful enough, when many children have workshop at their office they will keep it away from children.
E-Sai Village Weaving Group
On 21st September in the morning we visited weaver of E-Sai fabric, name from the name of the village “E-Mad-E-Sai village”, peaceful village in Uthaitani province. This is the 5th year relationship. We meet all 3 members, Ms. Pongsri, Ms. Su and Ms. Noiy. Only Ms. Su has insurance of AIA. But she does not sure how long time she can pay for it because it is about 1,000฿ a month, quite big for her.
Ms. Su always takes her son to see doctor because he is allergy (2-4 times a month). She spent about 400฿ for one time. Although she can use Gold card (show the Gold card to hospital and pay just 30฿ for all) but she does not choose because the difference in service and medicine. She does not have any security.
Ms. Pongsri the leader has new family’s members a little boy about 3 years old and a girl about 5 years old, they are her grandson and granddaughter. She said because she works at home she has time to take care of the children. Now she also cooks some food for student in local school as well.
About occupation risk, they sometimes tummy ache and always leg pain and have a backache.
Now we are thinking about their security. We will look for some kind of security that suit with them. And we will support payment of it.
21st September 2012
At Ban Nong Ling Weaving Group
In afternoon of 21st October 2012 we visit Ban Nong Ling Weaving Group, producer of Suphanburi fabric in Suphanburi province.
Some member is Village Health Volunteer of Development of Health promoting Hospital. They have salary and they have benefit to check up their health.
Suphanburi Weaving Group
Introduction of New Producer Maethapae Village, Sukhothai
There are about 100 Hmong families in Maethapae village. Ms. Praw is Thai who is impressed by embroidery works introducing Maethapae Hmong embroidery group to us. She has contacted with this group for 7 years. Members are White Hmong women loving their traditional embroideries. Their works are extraordinary. They work it in free times such as, morning before going to farm, after dinner watching TV. We have met five members and two new faces in this visit.
Age 94 years old.
She is the first woman who embroidered in modern design. She want new generations continue these works.
Because she thinks now she is too old. She spent 5-6 days for 1 piece of embroidery fabric.
Age 47 years old.
She has skill of doodle art embroidery.
Age 75 years old.
She has expertise in embroidery traditional design. Now she is farsighted person but she do this work. She would like to give a chance to new generations.
She came with her youngest daughter, age 22 months. Now she move to Phitsanulok but she still embroidery during do maid work.
Huai Tom Village, Lamphun, Thailand
We had relationship for 5 years They are willing to work with us because they can earn income during live in their peaceful hometown. Their living conditions are better than last visitation. Children have more budgets for studying, so many students from the village study in University.
Huai Tom is a village of Karen hill tribe. Villagers preserve their traditions and culture for a long time.
There are about 600 households living in this village. Main occupation is cultivation. Their ability are weaving and making silver accessory.
In the history of this village, a famous monk named “Kruba Chaiyawongsa” came and propagated Buddhism. Villager had used o respect spirits until he came. People gathered from many place to glorify him and confederate to build Phra Bat Huai Tom Temple here. They became vegetarians after the monk encouraged to stop hunt and eat meat.
Villager stopped to work when we visited because 12th years of funeral ceremony Kruba Chaiyawongsa was held. So, we couldn’t see they weave, but fortunately we can observe how to make silver accessories.
Karen Silver accessories
Karen Silver accessories are manufactured from 99.9% pure silver granules. All households were members of Karen Silver project five years ago, but unfortunately, almost give up to produce because of high silver price.