We represent a family silk farming and handicraft cooperative in Laos, operating as Mulberries and Phontong-Camacrafts Handicrafts Cooperative.

Photography by Paul Wager

Our organisation emerged in 1976, when Kommaly Chanthavong gathered 10 internally displaced and desperately poor women weavers from her home province of Hua Phan, Xam Neua, and initiated the Phontong Handicraft Cooperative. In 1990, Phontong and Camacraft joined ventures to assist Hmong hill tribe and Lao village women by utilising their artistic resources to design handcrafted products as a means to social and economic recovery.

In 1993, Mulberries organic silk farm was established in Xieng Khouang province as a research and model silk farm. The purpose of the farm is to revive and encourage the Lao traditional practice of silk fibre production, by providing training and support in silk worm rearing, art and craft practices of weaving. This in turn aids the social and economic development of rural and remote villages. Today the cooperative consists of 3,000 farmers, weavers and artisans from over 200 village families.

Our aim is to advance an ecological, economic, cultural and socially sustainable Lao silk and handicraft enterprise that improves the livelihood of the people we work with. An important part of our work is to ensure that our environmental, cultural and artistic resources are safeguarded for future generations.

Our role is to build close relationships with Lao village producers and contribute to improving their livelihood and standard of living. We also create market opportunities by bringing their products and stories to a global marketplace that connects and fosters an understanding between consumers and producers.

In purchasing products from Mulberries Fair Trade online store, you will be supporting the economic livelihood of Lao village communities. You can help us to ensure that traditional skills and artistic designs distinctive to Lao culture are passed on to younger generations.

Read more about our projects and meet the producers.