Cambodia Silk Weaving Co-op
The Cambodia women’s silk weaving cooperative is located in the Takeo Province, a rural, low income area. They employ over 500 weavers from 7 villages. The silk is also produced locally by 350 farmers who grow mulberry trees which rear cocoons from silk worms. The cocoons are spun into silk thread and eventually handloomed into these elegant works of art.
The goal of this social enterprise is to prevent the ancient Cambodian silk weaving tradition from vanishing, while empowering women and contributing to the economic development of more isolated areas. The complex art of silk weaving is a dying ancient tradition but the weaving cooperative trains younger generations to keep it alive. They provide employment opportunities and training for women living in the area who would otherwise be forced to flee to neighboring countries in search of jobs. There, separated from their families and lacking education, they often fall into dangerous situations such as human trafficking, sexual abuse or hard work conditions. By joining the weaving cooperative, the women become financially independent and can work from home so they can care for their children at the same time.