HAS products are handwoven in Sri Lanka by artisans who are continuing a tradition going back hundreds of centuries. The bold colours, the beautiful patterns are all part of a process that has been handed down from generation to generation and is a source of great pride in the country's history.
Our supplier is Sri Lanka’s only Fairtrade Certified handloom manufacturer, Selyn. The company was created because its owner wanted to preserve the handloom cottage industry in Sri Lanka. She realised it was a strong source of employment, especially for women, but it was a declining industry. Due to the increase in machine-produced textiles, handloom products are being priced out of the market and demand is falling, placing this unique heritage industry under threat. Crucially, artisans do not have access to the mass market that larger industries dominate.
Selyn was set up to address this issue. They employ experts in the industry and give them the support, and access to a wide market, which allows them to stay in the field without sacrificing their lifestyle.
It is because we share these principles, and also because we are huge fans of the colours, designs and quality of handloom, that we at HAS are excited by our partnership with Selyn. We created HAS to support the aim of widening the market for this typically Sri Lankan product.
You can find out more about Selyn, its commitment to ethical practice, and the World Fair Trade Organisation below:
Most importantly, our supplier is Fairtrade certified and committed to ethical practices with regard to labour. As a Fairtrade guaranteed company, Selyn operates under the World Fair Trade Organisation standards (listed below), that all employed under this guarantee are paid a fair wage.
Additionally, the artisans employed by our supplier are not reliant on a factory model, requiring them to travel long distances to work or even move to be located near a headquarters.
Instead, they are able to practise their craft locally, allowing them to live a well-balanced family life, as well as having the flexibility to also pursue other interests. This lifestyle is ideally suited to women, a majority of the craftspeople employed by Selyn, which allows them to live independently by earning an income from their skills and expertise.
The 10 Principles of Fairtrade
1. Opportunities for disadvantaged producers
2. Transparency and accountability
3. Fair trade practices
4. Fair payment
5. No child labour, no forced labour
6. No discrimination, gender equity, Freedom of Association
7. Good working conditions
8. Capacity Building
9. Promote Fair Trade
10. Respect for the Environment