Beautiful, high-quality, handmade, natural-dyed, ethnic crafts, clothes and accessories, helping hill tribe Thai women and refugees from Myanmar to support their families.
What to experience ?
WEAVE women blend traditional knowledge of weaving and embroidery with new sewing patterns to make eye-catching handicrafts, ranging from household items to clothing such as shirts, scarves, and shawls; bags, wallets, pouches and purses and toys !
Artisans use organic and environmentally friendly materials and dyes such as tree bark. All handicrafts are hand-woven. Artisans in the refugee camps work from home, weaving, sewing and embroidering items, without the aid of any electrical machinery.
Browsing for gifts is only one part of the WEAVE experience.
The Fair Trade Shop in Mae Sot features the WEAVE Gallery, a multi-media showcase of videos, exhibitions and presentations about refugee and women’s issues. Learn about fair trade, WEAVE handicrafts, the women who make them, and how they express cultural diversity through craft. You can also meet WEAVE’s shop staff, from ethnic groups in Myanmar, and learn about life across the border.
The Mae Sot Fair Trade Shop is off the tourist trail, close to the Thai-Myanmar border. WEAVE also have showrooms in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son.
How does it help ?
Refugee and migrant women from Myanmar face many obstacles to become self-sufficient and look after their families. There are very few jobs inside refugee camps, and the amount of work they can do outside camps or in migrant towns is restricted by the Thai government, is poorly paid and usually limited to seasonal agricultural work. Their life is a daily struggle.
Over 21 years, WEAVE have focused support on these marginalised, disadvantaged refugee women and their families, and created awareness of the challenges they face as displaced persons in Thailand. Projects include early childhood development, women’s capacity development, health, income generation, and organisational and community development.
WEAVE women’s groups receive small business training and start-up funds to create small businesses and sell their products. They are empowered to be economically self-sufficient, support themselves and their communities, and make a contribution to Thailand’s local economy. WEAVE has trained over 1,000 women in skills for weaving, sewing and embroidery and has provided regular income to over 500 households.
To date, over 35 refugee/community-based organisations have benefitted from support and carried out a variety of community development projects. Carried out under WEAVE’s Small Project Support Fund, financial assistance ranges from USD $400-1,000 per project.
WEAVE’s Women’s Capacity Development Program is undertaking several inspiring projects, including an annual ten-month Women’s Study Programme for 25 women and young girls, and providing post-high school education to children in Mae Hong Son refugee camps.
Supporting these women allow their craft traditions to survive. By focusing on the women and their stories and backgrounds, WEAVE also helps to build greater respect and understanding between tourists and hosts. WEAVE is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO).
Fair Trade Shop
7 Soi 5 Sirimangkalajarn Road
T.Suthep, A.Muang, Chiang Mai
Phone: +66(0) 53-221654