Color Silk Entreprise
The women selected become members of Color Silk's Community, following some criterias :
They live in a rural area and have a low-income and/or a poor family
They are willing to do weaving jobs and have some weaving skills already.
They accept the terms of the membership and agree not to work for other dealers
Some who do not have any skills weaving receive a 5 months free training thanks to Color Silk fondation. Once the training is over, these women can become a member of Color Silk entreprise.
Once they are accepted as a member, Color Silk assists them to manage the business on their own:
They get financial support : they receive a loan to set up the loom without charging interests; they can borrow money in advance in case of emergencies; raw materials, such as silk thread and dyeing products, are provided.
They get technical assistancy : Color Silk creates patterns fit to the customers' needs for them and teaches them basic design knowledge.
Therefore, this type of home-based enterprise permits groups of women to work and live together close to their family. They work in good conditions, at home, and can take care of their children at the same time. They execute customers' orders and Color Silk Enterprise buys their products at a fair price.
Color Silk supports them to produce silk products and ensure an all year-round market for them. The price that it offers for their products is sufficient enough to generate an income and send their children to school.
Color Silk Enterprise sells these beautiful products to local NGOs, silk exporters, boutiques, souvenir shops and tourists agents. Both on national and international markets, contributing to the economic development of isolated rural areas.
Color Silk was launched in 2009 in the aftermaths of a financial crisis that affected the price of silk products. That economic breakdown forced many women to flee to neighboring countries to find a job. There, separated from their family, lacking of education, they often fell into dangerous situations such as human trafficking, sexual abuses or hard work conditions.
Moreover, in Cambodian culture, sons are more important than daughters, so most girls must stay at home, can't go to school and therefore lack education once they become adult. Because of this, they cannot access high profile jobs, and remain financially dependent, taking care of the children and always relying on their husband. The result is that women don't have a voice in their family, but also in society and in the country as a whole.
Color Silk's goal is to provide them a secure, safe and permanent job they can realize while staying with their family in Cambodia. The organization seeks to help women rise out of poverty so that they can become financially autonomous, and live their life with dignity. In other words, to empower women.
At the same time, the ancient silk weaving culture, very famous in Cambodia, is at risk of vanishing. Only middle-aged women continue to weave the silk, whereas younger generations are not aware of this cultural heritage. Knowledge and skills about this complex art are being lost.
Desirous of saving this part of the Cambodian culture, Color Silk helps women who are willing to take silk weaving as source of income by providing employment opportunity and income generation through a safe work in their community. This action enables the economic development of more isolated rural areas.
Color Silk is a social business thriving to prevent the ancient Cambodian silk weaving tradition from vanishing, while empowering women and contributing to the economic development of more isolated areas.
When they were only 10 in 2009, we are proud to count 500 weavers as members of our community today.
We now cover 7 villages in Takeo province.
We have supported hundred of weavers with initial financial start up to set up looms and equipment.
We work with 350 farmers who grow mulberry trees.