More than just handbags

Supporting Khmer Women

At Minima we care about the environment and the people that live in it.

That’s why we use vegetable tanned leather for all our bags and that’s why we are now supporting a new community based bead producer in Cambodia. Bringing the culture of the Khmer people and the colours of Cambodian land into our designs.

For the past few years I have been lucky enough to spend some time in Cambdia. I have a love for Siem Reap that cannot be described apart from saying it feels like home. I am always inspired by the Cambodian people and their happiness and positive approach to life is something that we can all take on board.

During my last trip there I found Claycult Cambodia (ceramic bead studio) and was again inspired to be a part of something special.  Something with a cause. After a few meetings and samples made, Minima is now proud to introduce a ceramic bead and leather keychain as part of our new Havana range.

All the ceramic beads are handmade in Siem Reap, home to Angkor Wat and the great Angkor temples. 

The studios primary objective is to provide sustainable, long term employment in a safe work environment and to offer education and training to their Cambodian staff. All of the women have had limited opportunities to show what they can achieve but are now learning new skills and are encourage to show their talents.   

Training in all aspects of the business are provided from the making of the clay and beads, to the techniques of painting and glazing, to colour and design, to the assembly of jewellery and on to marketing, accounting, sales and customer relations. 

Like Minima, nothing they do is mass-produced.  All beads are completely hand crafted; from the digging and production of the clay, to the rolling, shaping and painting of the beads to the end creation.

 

Claycult not only provides this training but they adapt the work place to suit the womens lives as much as possible, out sourcing to those who are unable to come to the workshop because of family commitments or flexi hours to accommodate those caring for children. 

Education is encourgaed, sending those who have a desire to school, a fair wage is paid and a fresh home cooked lunch is provided daily. 

Claycult, not just beautiful beads and jewellery but something from the heart of the mystic Cambodian land. 

We are so proud the be a part of this small community in Cambodia. And hope this is just the beginning of supporting more communities around the globe. 

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