Fresh designs using environmentally-friendly processes and materials, with a unique handmade touch – that’s KeoK’jay. Each piece is elegant and comfortable and has a touch of edge, defining a bold look.
What to experience ?
From the outside Keo K’jay may look like just another fashion shop. However, on further inspection of not only the clothes and accessories but the story behind the brand, you have reached a world where few fashion designers tread.
KeoK’jay uses techniques and processes derived from the traditional textile processes of Cambodia, helping to preserve them by using them in contemporary fashion. Each piece is made to be comfortable, useful, fashionable, washable, and well-loved.
Naturally dyed cotton is hand woven by a local social enterprise, unique designs are hand screen printed onto shirts and fabrics, t-shirts and fabrics are dyed naturally with locally collected plants and materials, and hand woven cotton left over from garment factories in Cambodia is also used .
Their sales assistants are happy to answer questions and point you in the direction of other responsible options.
How does it help ?
Meaning bright green or fresh in Khmer, KeoK’jay is a social enterprise whose primary goal is to provide jobs for HIV positive women in Phnom Penh, through the production of handcrafted clothing and accessories. With their partner the non-profit Sihanouk Hospital Centre of HOPE, KeoK’jay identifies women in need of support and provides training in sewing and textile skills.
KeoK’jay’s workers have experienced everything from genocide to rape but working side-by-side and talking about their experiences provides a sense of community and therapeutic support in a workplace which is safe from discrimination, emotional abuse, and fear.
KeoK’jay offers a proactive alternative to the traditional aid models. By creating high quality products that resonate with the ever-changing fashion market without sacrificing social principles, KeoK’jay aims to combat the traditional victim mentality that leads to dependency by building a business that does not depend on charity to sell products.
KeoK’jay believes there is a strong need to integrate social and environmental responsibility into fashion. Their goal is to be a viable business creating products that can compete in the international fashion market without adding to the labour and environmental problems that consume the fashion sector.
Every step in making a product is carefully considered with the customer and the environment in mind, from design, to materials, to production, to packaging. The designs are inspired by Cambodia, and designers work side-by-side with producers.
Approximately 70% of KeoK’jay’s products derive from recycled materials including second hand clothing and garment factory cast-offs, vintage buttons, cement bags, newspapers, and cardboard. At current production levels about 2,250 kilos of products per year are recycled. Another 20% comes from locally made, sustainable materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, and naturally dyed materials. Only 5% are new industrial materials, such as thread and zips.