ColorSilk founded in 2009 is a slow fashion social enterprise based out of Cambodia that aims to preserve the ancient tradition of ethical silk weaving and empower women in the rural isolated areas of Cambodia by training and upskilling them to attain sustainable Livelihood.
To enable this mission, ColorSilk has crafted best practices and tailored programs to embark on upskilling the local communities, enhancing the inherited weaving skills, promote the authenticity of design patterns, and provide startup capital to establish the home-based enterprise.
It was an honor talking to the Founder of ColorSilk social enterprise ‘Vanntha Ngorn’, to gain valuable insights of their business journey, and the secret to success of producing this fine luxurious piece of fabric.
She strongly believes in enabling communities and supporting them to rise above the challenging circumstances and achieve financial independence so that they can create a new future that is safe and sustainable. ColorSilk has a diverse team with a varied skillset to support the end-to-end value chains of finished silk goods.
END TO END VALUE CHAIN
Sericulture Program - Process starts with ColorSilk association with the community farmers in Cambodia for the sericulture practice by providing them seeds to grow the lush green mulberry trees for their sustainable income.
This is the first stage of acquiring the raw material to initiate the process of the creation of the silk. All the tasks are performed with due diligence like silkworms are kept in appropriate climatic conditions for the rearing stage, fed properly on the mulberry leaves, and precautionary measures are taken to prevent any kind of infection for proper staging of worms into next development phases. The farming team dedication and commitment is shown in the phenomenal growth of the silkworms.
The Colorsilk team is trained to execute the process of cocoon formation as this is one of the important stages for successful production of high-quality sumptuous silk.
Journey continues where the cocoons are taken by the ColorSilk weaving team and placed in the reeling machines to extract the finest silk filament. A unique traditional methodology is followed by the team to twist the silk thread in various ways to compress the fiber together and to bundle up the white or yellow silk yarn onto bobbins /spindles.
UNIQUENESS & AUTHENTICITY
Training program - Traditional Cambodian heritage is kept alive in the lives of millions by upskilling the local women community with the weaving practices and applying the ancient weaving techniques passed from generations to produce a diverse range of silk fabrics.
Journey continues with the process of fabrication. ColorSilk team undergoes a natural eco-friendly dyeing process following the core value of sustainability to dye the silk into chromatic colors. After weeks of diligent work, the moment of pride and happiness arrives when the finest delicate silk fabric is produced.
Startup Capital Program - ColorSilk supports the women community by providing the raw material and capital to buy & setup looms/equipment's for home based enterprise.
At the final stage, ColorSilk designers use their creativity and innovative skills to launch the fashion collection of silk products. Designers transform the fabric into fashionable products by blending the Cambodian traditions and modernized outlook to craft unique and authentic design patterns for the consumers.
Today Color Silk's product line includes a richly hued array of silk products such as raw textiles, bags, dresses, scarves, masks and sarongs.
The organisation serves a multitude of customers both in domestic and international markets. With their passion and continuous efforts, ColorSilk has grown from 10 women weavers to 600 weavers and extended its reach from 1 village to 20 villages in Takeo Province, Cambodia.
Business model is adapted to embrace the sustainable fashion resulting in ethical and eco-friendly products for the customer base. As a conscious conservationist, Vanntha is the key pillar who builds and nurtures a strong foundation for future generations.
I am happy to share the story of this purpose-driven luxury brand available in your wardrobe to make you look more confident and exuberant.
ANGELS OF IMPACT
As a corporate volunteer from SAP, it was a great opportunity to participate in ASEAN WISE program, and work with passionate team at ColorSilk Foundation to support their business objectives.
This ASEAN WISE program is a flagship program from angels of impact that has a vision of building a community of learning and support for the handicraft sector in ASEAN, given that 2021 is the UN Year of the Creative Economy. This community comprises of social enterprises tackling poverty in the region, corporate volunteers, and Angels of Impact team and partners.
I sincerely appreciate the collaboration between SAP and Angels of Impact to support & strengthen the social enterprises to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, and also help eliminate poverty in the lives of so many.