The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. The country went through a long lasting civil war and left many people struggling to make a living. This is especially true for Sri Lanka's women who are living in rural, poverty stricken areas.
APIHappi's partnership with the Cohado Foundation created an environment in which two young entrepreneurs were able to offer locally created cool stringy bags and sell them on a world market and in the process provide job opportunities for a select group of Sri Lanka women. Most bags are sold in the US for $29.99 and have a $5 shipping charge. Each bag is made or organic cotton, carefully made with french seams to reduce fraying and decorated with contrast piping and strings to add that little extra spark. Just click on the bag of your choice to learn more.
The hand loom is an age old tradition of hand weaving, which is also used by women in rural north Sri Lanka. Often these women come from poverty stricken areas and weaving specially designed clothes for a western company enables them to become independent and self-sufficient and provides a way out of poverty. When I read that, I was reminded of a proverb that states:
" Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,; teach a means to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. "
The weaving process consist of interlacing one set of threads of yarn (the warp) with another (the weft). The warp threads are stretched lengthwise in the weaving loom. The weft, the cross-threads, are woven into the warp to make the cloth. At ApiHappy Aparna Samarakoon is the Co-founder and Fashion Designer who created the designs for the bags. Etosha Lankatilleke is the founder who moved from the USA to Sri Lanka to make their vision become reality. "All the fabric we use for our products is original Sri Lankan Handloom," says Etosha Lankatilleke. Thereby, supporting our company directly improves the lives of our handloomers and their families." Eventually, ApiHappy would like to create training centers for their artisan producers.