Mulberries is a fair trade organisation in the northeast of Laos. Mulberries was established in 1994 by Kommaly Chanthavong and seeks to create opportunities and income for people in Laos.
Mulberries creates exclusive silk scarves from luxury organic silk in the most splendid and complex weaving patterns. It won UNESCO’s 2002 Best Artist Award, and the Asean Silk Fabric and Fashion Design Contest in 2010.
Mulberries aims especially at strengthening the position of women. The organisation provides them with a fixed income as a reward for their beautiful, traditionally handwoven silk scarves and shawls.
Mulberries works with six hundred families in many different villages in rural Laos. Every scarf is handmade from cocoon to end product – a very labour-intensive process.
Lao women and men learn all about raising silkworms, reeling silk yarns and dyeing with natural dye, to get the best colour and weaving results.
They are actively involved in planting and cultivating the slow growing mulberry tree. The mulberry leaf is the only food silkworms eat. Trees and bushes that yield bark, seeds, nuts and leafs for making natural dyes are also planted and cultivated. All trees and bushes are grown on soil that is fertilised with organic compost only.
Throughout the entire process more than twenty people are involved in the creation of one silk shawl.
Mulberries uses absolutely no chemicals or pesticides in the creation of its scarves. The shawls and scarves are really organic (certified by Laos Organic) and ecological. Sustainable silk, ecological silk and fair trade!
Kommaly Chanthavong was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for her tremendous contribution to the fight against poverty in Laos and for sustaining the country’s cultural heritage.
Laos is amongst the poorest countries in the world. People in rural areas have hardly any source of income, and have limited possibilities only for education and medical care.
Mulberries is member of the World Fair Trade Organization.
Take a look at the scarves and shawls of Mulberries.
Founder Kommaly Chanthavong
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