Discovery: Upcyling in Cambodia

Discovery: Upcyling in Cambodia

Written by Jana Kerkhoff - our 2018 intern - after her first excursion fabric sourcing with us in Cambodia. 

Cambodia is a production country for many big fast fashion brands producing their massive volumes of stock on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Part of "fast fashion" is fast changing trends and colorways which results in styles being changed or not produced at all even though the fabric for it was already made - a fabric which was carefully crafted out of valuable resources using water and energy. So what happens with these deadstock fabrics that are discarded by the big garment factories?

They are sold to local family businesses who sell them in big storage places in the suburban neighborhoods of Phnom Penh.  We call it "scraps heaven" because that is where we source the fabric that will make up our new GOOD KRAMA Collections. All our fabrics are upcycled from these kinds of deadstock or are handwoven in the Takeo Province of Cambodia. We use that unwanted fabric to not only save it from being thrown away or burned in landfill but also because they are valuable materials that bring a uniqueness to the upcycled poetry of our collections.

Within these fabric warehouses we can find all different types of fabrics in all various quantities. Sometimes there are meters and meters on a roll of one particular fabric but then another only offers a couple of inches. You never know what you will find. It is important to take a closer look, compare qualities and also climb on top of fabric mountains and use all your strength to pull to find the desired item. It is hot, dusty and stuffy but usually worth it. Treasures like our Cruise fabric from our latest summer Candy Cruise collection can be found in places like here. 

Often we come here with a list of specific fabrics we want and the trip ends up in a real hunt to find it. Other times we get inspiration here and let ourselves be surprised by what we find. In every way, these fabrics are only available in limited amounts and after that, we will never find them again which makes every piece of the GOOD KRAMA Collection unique and special.

You can read the full article here.

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