Saraye: Traditional Tatami Purses from Cambodia

We love products that support or revive traditional crafts. Check out, for ex ample, the work of Kallari, fair trade suppliers of traditional Amazonian baskets, which we reported on here. Now we've come across another cool basket supplier, this time from Cambodia. Saraye sells traditional tatami purses that are crafted from the grasses that grow along the Mekong River Delta. The stalks are selectively cut, hand-dyed and woven into beautiful patterns, before being shaped into purses and rucksacks with a signature curve that is designed to ergonomically fit the shape of your body. Saraye was founded by its parent company Baskets of Cambodia, an organization with a very TreeHugger friendly mission statement:

"Since 1996 we have worked to utilize the enormous talents and dedication of the Cambodian people by introducing new ideas and positive business practices to create exciting new products — traditional and modern. Our goal is to be a positive and dynamic force in the development of Cambodia as well as an innovator of stylish environmentally friendly products worldwide."

Interestingly, the company has not joined the fair trade movement, and their website is actually sharply critical of much of what qualifies for fair trade. They do, however, claim transparency, and say they are happy to publish the amount they pay to their suppliers and workers. You can read more about their position in this regard here. For more tatami-related crafts, check out this company making belts from offcuts of fabric from tatami mat manufacturers. ::Saraye::

Tags: Cambodia | Fair Trade