Sustainable Fashion Inspired by the Weaving Villages in Vietnam

 

Narrator:
Danica Ratte
Founder of Wild Tussah

One of the main reasons visitors go to Vietnam is to experience the many handicraft villages that are run by skillful artisans. These villages’ areas of expertise can range from pottery making to wood carving, from embroidery to folklore painting to weaving. There are approximately 2,000 of these craft villages, some of which have managed to maintain their traditional techniques throughout the ages.

The Sapa Mountains in Vietnam
Mountains in Sa Pa

 

To these groups of people, handicrafts offer the opportunity to maintain and preserve their cultural heritage, and they also provide jobs, which is imperative in a country where the ethnic minority population is stricken with poverty; over 49% lack education and decent living conditions. Therefore, these handcrafted creations are a very important source of income that allows these artisans to support their families and to improve their quality of life.

Traditional Vietnamese Loom
A traditional loom in the Mekong Delta

 

When I first learned about these weaving villages in Vietnam, I was blown away by the intricacies involved in creating their traditional textiles, and the amount of time and skill it takes to make them. I was also shocked to learn that these weaving techniques are in danger of going extinct, or of being replaced by more modern materials, since local and global demand for the artisans’ handmade treasures has declined dramatically. That’s when I decided to create Wild Tussah; a handbag brand whose designs incorporate traditional weave textiles, handmade by artisans in Vietnam, in an effort to help preserve their ancient culture. 

Ancient Loom from Vietnam

A Vietnamese artisan working on a handloom
Mrs. Diem working on her loom at Inrahani Culture Centre near Saigon

 

Wild Tussah Day to Night Handbag
Wild Tussah's Day to Night Bag, inspired by traditional women's skirts of the Vietnamese Lu People

 


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