Welcome to our global maker-to-market movement where, together with 20,000 artisans, we ignite social change. We create opportunities for individuals, families, and communities in developing countries to thrive through strong relationships, fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable practices.
A wash of blues is soothing as the calmest sea. Kommaly Chanthavong was displaced from her home at a young age, but because she had learned the treasured skill of Lao silk weaving from her family, she was able to support herself and train other women in the art as well. Today, the Phontong Handicrafts Cooperative still produces high-quality silk, using those very same family secrets from long ago.
HANDCRAFTED IN LAO PDR
This handicraft cooperative began in 1980 and works with Lao weavers and basket makers in lowland villages around Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. Kommaly Chanthavong directs the co-op, and her husband Noulieme manages finances. Craftswomen intersperse weaving with housework and childcare. Once a dying art, weaving skills and traditions are being revived by Phontong, which provides lessons and free raw materials to artisans. The cooperative also helps artisans with wood carving, basket weaving, silk production and cattle raising. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased handicrafts from Phontong since 1989.