|$20, Made in Singapore, serrv.org|
Keep your tablet safe and stylish with this lovely printed sleeve, available through Serrv and made by the artistans of VillageWorks. Cotton lining is quilted over foam padding to cushion and protect your tablet and a magnetic tab closure keeps your technology piece tucked in but provides quick access. $20
VillageWorks Songkhem Collection is a project started by the Girls' Brigade of Singapore. From Serrv, "VillageWorks currently runs 2 training centers, where women from surrounding villages receive training in sewing, embroidery, and weaving. The centers provide employment for the women and help them realize their potential. VillageWorks hopes to expand this model, to be able to reach more rural women.
The Songkhem Collection (songkhem means 'hope" in the Khmer language) highlights VillageWorks' products, particularly handwoven silk & cotton scarves, pillow covers, and handbags. Through the purchase of products from VillageWorks, Songkhem Collection you engage in building lives by helping village women break free from poverty, and find hope."
|$22.40, Made in Thailand, serrv.org|
Ahka Laptop Sleeve
Traditional handcraft meets modern function in this embroidered laptop sleeve, a Serrv exclusive. Thai Tribal Crafts is a fair trade organization that offers development opportunities for the tribal peoples of Northern Thailand. Seven hill tribes are involved in the project: the Akha, Hmong, Karen, Lahu, Lawa, Lisu and Mien groups. The black cotton sleeve measures 12” x 15” and is lightly padded and lined on the inside. Hand-embroidery embellishes the front and a two-sided zip closure allows easy access. Now priced at just under $23.
|$12, Made in Nepal, tenthousandvillages.com|
Soft Flower Phone Purse
From the felt producers of Nepal’s Association for Craft Producers comes one of three soft felted wool cell purses. Felt refers to non-woven fabric formed when wool fibers lock together under heat, moisture and pressure. This bonding of fibers is called felting. At ACP some 60 women produce felt – all by hand, using hot water, soap and the pressure of their hands (or sometimes feet) to bond the fibers. ACP has been at the forefront of reviving this traditional skill in Nepal. The purse neatly fits a cell or smart phone and has an angled strap for both easy removal and for placement on a belt or pant loop. Felt will loosen slightly over time, conforming to the size and shape of your phone. The button closure and flower center are made of coconut. Also available in olive (with red heart detail) and dark green (with yellow bird embellishment). Measures 3” x 5” $12.
|$58, Made in Singapore, serrv.org|
Also from the artisans of VillagesWorks Songkhem Collection comes a fresh, cotton, shoulder bag with printed medallion design.
Three zip pockets and two open pockets on the face and three pockets in the lined interior give ample opportunity to organize your office on-the-go. Bag has zip top closure, two 16" handles, and an adjustable, detachable shoulder strap that is long enough to be used as a cross-body bag. Measures 10 1/2" x 15" x 3". A Serrv exclusive.
Soft Edges Purse
A new item this month from Ten Thousand Villages has already unavailable online but is available in various Ten ThousandVillages stores throughout the USA. (Call your local store and inquire about item #2501210.) This upcycled case is made in Egypt from ties both current and vintage and comes in assorted colors and prints. Patterns range from traditional solids and checks to whimsical prints, like the teal peacock & rabbit botanical featured on mine. Purse measures 4” x 6” and has a Velcro closure on the phone compartment. The interior is fully lined and is roomy enough to accommodate a smart-phone (even one with a protective shell) or small digital camera. An additional zippered compartment opens along the long edge and easily fits cash, cards, keys, or other small necessities. The compartments are separated by double lining to protect your phone from hard objects in the side pocket. The artisan group, APE, is located in Mokhattam, Cairo, traditional home for the city’s unique garbage collection industry. Individuals and families collect refuse from all parts of Cairo, bringing it to their homes, separating it into different product categories, and selling it to brokers. APE builds on the collectors’ technical expertise, while improving their professional and educational opportunities. The textile program provides income opportunities for women in this community.