BEADBAGS CRISPY STORY
Sustainable fashion, mindful business, recycling, upcycling and cool, innovative design and materials
We love sustainable fashion, mindful business, recycling, upcycling and cool, innovative design and materials. Our manufacturing facility is a cooperative based in Phnom Penh which contributes to social development by providing training and employment opportunities to marginalised people. The organisation was established in 2002 by former refugees to New Zealand, who returned to their native country with accounting and design expertise and an aim to provide training and employment opportunities to disabled persons – in particular victims of landmines and polio as the result of prolonged war and poor healthcare in Cambodia. An intensive training program has been developed to enable trainees to acquire the necessary skills for employment, including technical and work practice skills. In 2006, the organisation extended its aim to encompass non-handicapped artisans from disadvantaged backgrounds. This was a direct response to changing economic and social conditions in Cambodia.
The training has enabled people in vulnerable socio-economic positions to become self-supporting, confident artisans who see themselves as individuals with abilities that contribute to the development of Cambodia. The number of artisans has grown from a humble few at its inception to around 100- full time staff. The cooperative produces a wide range of products including fashion bags, scarves, women’s accessories, and home fashion for export markets.
Production materials are mainly hand-woven silks and environmentally conscious recycled materials. The Eco-products (made using recycled materials) have gained recognition around the world. Our manufacturing facility also provide in-house design, product development and CMT (cut, make and trim) services. In 2004, our manufacturing facility was awarded the UNESCO “Seal of Excellence” for Handicraft Products. Our manufacturing facility is a member of Artisans Association of Cambodia (AAC) which is a member of the Fairtrade Organization.
The products are all made by hand and the base material is piece by piece from washed cement sacs or receycled fish net selected. Each product is therefore unique and ensures that the final product is a design object with urban character. E.g. cement is one of the materials most widely used in the construction industry. Due to the tropical climates key factors are: Tensile strength and resistance to humidity.This cement bag material is therefore extremely suitable, resistant, and at the same time very light.
In the manufacturing of the products highly skilled professionals are employed who have been victims of landmines or handicapped by physical disabilities such as, inter alia, deafness. People will be given a sustainable way of employment, which secures the survival of their families. The re-use of high-quality packaging materials, the background of the workers and stylish products with a unique character form a dream combination.
Just one example of stories to tell about sustainable fashion, mindful business, recycling, upcycling and cool, innovative design and materials.
For more Information on sustainable products and fair trade please click here: WORLD FAIR TRADE FEDERATION
And this is what the renowned GDS Fair writes about us:
Beadbag's Crispy: Modern Upcycling
They are original, youthful and fresh in their design – Beadbag's Crispy is the name of this new product line where each item is made from recycled, colourfully painted cement sacks made by Bead GmbH, a company founded in 2007. The robust synthetic material can withstand tropical gales and is also waterproof and washable, so that it can be used in daily life in the form of bags. Moreover, each item is unique, whether it's a bag, purse, cosmetics pouch, mobile phone or tablet sleeve, sold by retailers at 30 to 80 euros. But there's more to it than a witty idea. "We have based it on the management principle of mindful business," says Managing Director Stefan Schult, who believes that commitment to sustainability is just as important as making products which tell authentic stories. The manufacturing facility in Cambodia, where the Beadbag's Crispy line is made, enables landmine victims to support their families through their work. Together with Angola and Afghanistan, Cambodia is one of the countries with the largest numbers of landmines. Every month at least 60 of them explode, hitting above all the civilian population. Every third victim is a child.
The manufacturing business was founded by two Cambodians in 2002. Both of them had fled to New Zealand during the terror regime of the Khmer Rouge and then studied, among other things, textile designs, followed by teaching posts at universities in New Zealand and Australia. Beadbag’s Crispy currently employs 100 physically disabled people in Cambodia and received a UNESCO award for its outstanding craftsmanship in 2004.
Bead GmbH was set up as a fashion accessory company in 2007. Its range of leather products comprises handbags, jewellery, belts, footwear and silk scarves. Since then it has attracted 1,500 retailers who now sell these products. After the US and New Zealand markets, Beadbag's Crispy is currently being launched in Europe.