Something New & A Little Bit Special

August 21, 2018 2 Comments

Something New & A Little Bit Special

We've been working on something new that we're rather excited about. Debuting at New Zealand Eco Fashion Week this Saturday 13 June will be... Our first silk-cotton garment range for women! This range is really special to us and we'd love to share the story of how it has come about.

Last year during our trip to Cambodia we came across a very inspiring business. Their vision is to provide fair employment for rural families who are living in poverty, using the traditional Khmer skill of hand weaving fabric on a loom. During the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970's, many traditional skills were lost as families were torn apart and millions of people died. However by reviving these skills through paid enterprise, families have been able to regain their livelihood. After visiting some of the families at work we had so much admiration for this business that we were determined to work with them. We love their values such as fair wages, the ability to work from home, flexibility for mums to work and care for their children at the same time, as well as an allowance for each child to progress through school to a university level.

We haven't even told you the coolest part yet... In addition to the skill of fabric weaving, this business has also worked... no, laboured, with their employees to regain the art of traditional Khmer organic dyeing techniques. Together they tested probably thousands of natural materials like local barks, vegetable skins and flowers to find natural and organic dye colours that can be used to dye fabric. Not only is this an amazing environmental practice, but they have literally rebuilt a lost cultural art through sheer hard work. We had to do a bit of risk-taking as there was no guarantee as to exactly what colour our final fabric would end up (it's totally organic with not a chemical in sight, after all) but we're excited! The colours shall remain a surprise for now but we can tell you that Indian Almond leaves and Sappan bark were an important part of the process.

One more thing. This amazing business - which provides fair employment through hand spinning, hand dyeing and hand weaving - has been recognised by the International Trade Centre, a joint agency by the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation, as providing an effective solution to poverty in rural Cambodia. Yup... they are pretty awesome!

Once the weaving is complete, this special fabric then travels to our sewing centre in Dey Tmey, Cambodia where it is sewn into beautiful garments. Here our team of women have the opportunity to work with fabrics that have been locally made using their traditional skills, plus they are learning new techniques and gaining confidence in creating this brand new range. This collection of six fresh and modern garments has been designed by the supremely talented Ashleigh Lloyd - a New Zealand fashion designer who is also passionate about the fair treatment and employment of marginalised women. What a treat to work with someone that is so willing to share her talents in the area of sewing and design. 

We are truly so excited for you to see our new silk-cotton range. It's at moments like this that we'll admit that we are pretty darn proud of what our team has accomplished.

Hand weaving on a loom at the weaving centre in Takeo Province, Cambodia.

Hand spinning cotton into thread, while her baby sleeps in a hammock nearby.

A 'master weaver' working at home. One weaver can provide employment for other family members through spinning and dyeing.


2 Responses

ReCreate Store
ReCreate Store

September 04, 2015

Hey Libby! The silk cotton range will be arriving in our online store this December… we’re so excited for it!


August 27, 2015

Hey love he silk cotton range! Where can we buy that?

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Size Guide

Our model, Yasmin, is 181cm / 5'11" tall and wears size Extra Small.

SMALL (10)
 LARGE (14)
Bust 82-86cm 87-91cm 92-96cm 97-101cm
Waist 67-71cm 72-76cm 77-81cm 82-86cm
Hip 92-96cm 97-101cm 102-106cm 107-111cm