Meet Cambodian brand Good Krama. No, that’s not a typo- it’s a clever play on the word “Krama”, a versatile, traditional Cambodian garment that provides inspiration for the brand! Based in Phnom Penh, Good Krama produces a small, slow-fashion collection of garments made from both upcycled, deadstock fabric and locally handwoven cotton and silk. Good Krama is super-conscious of both the environmental impact of their products, and the proper treatment of the workers behind the products.
After Good Krama reached out to me, I knew that I wanted to work with the brand because they pay some of the highest wages that I’ve seen so far from an ethical brand based in Cambodia. Many brands pay somewhere around 25% or 50% over the government-mandated “living wage” (which isn’t really a great living wage), but Good Krama’s sewers and weavers make salaries that are double the government wage.
The clothing designs produced by Good Krama are unique- I can almost guarantee that you don’t have a similar piece in your wardrobe. Though the colors used for the collection are all muted, neutral shades, the unusual cuts and peek-a-bo touches of patterned, hand woven fabric make the garments interesting in addition to being functional. I received a few Good Krama pieces to review, and tested them out over this past weekend.
The Chavy shirt is made from a soft, smooth jersey knit that was “rescued” from a fabric warehouse after being discarded from local factories. The boxy shape is easy to wear, and the hand-woven fabric detail running down the back is subtle and charming. I love the split back (it makes the top nice and breezy to wear in the Manila heat) and the gently scooped neckline.
The Chantrea Krama scarf is made of 100% Organza silk, handwoven in the Battambang Province of Cambodia. The naturally shiny + a bit stiff fabric makes this scarf feel a bit more formal than the cotton scarves I own. I’m inspired by the way Kramas are worn in different ways by Cambodian locals (and by the women that sew Good Krama’s garments- check out thier bios on the Good Krama website!), and plan to try styling my Chantrea scarf a few different ways over the next few weeks to stretch my fashion creativity.
I really appreciate not only the quality of Good Krama’s products, but also the transparency behind Good Krama’s business operations, and the steps the company is taking to track their positive impact. In addition to being careful with sourcing and worker wages, Good Krama is making it part of their design and manufacturing process to produce a lifecycle analysis for all of their products, calculating the water usage for each garment, the waste generated by the manufacturing process, and more.Compared to current industry standards, Good Krama garments save an impressive amount of resources and have a much smaller carbon impact!
Full article available here.