Love your book and your articles for The Ecologist. Noticed that you've featured articles on Junky Styling, RECLAIM and Pachacuti and thought I might have an interesting hook for a story with my newly launched ethical accessories label, Aspara. We sell handwoven silk handbags, scarves and little luxuries produced by fair trade cooperatives in Cambodia that combine ethics, luxury and allure.
My own journey into setting up an ethical fashion label has been far from conventional (think from diplomat to eco-designer!) and is set against a background of UN poverty-alleviation programmes that either failed, ran into problems or overlooked the local social and environmental needs of rural producers.
I founded Aspara with the aim of creating a fair trade label that was truly responsive to the needs of Cambodia's rural silk weaving communities and facilitates the revival of a 1000 year old silk industry that was decimated during the Killing Fields. We believe in creating lasting impressions not just through our unique accessories but in the way we work with and listen to the people and communities who bring these designs to life.
At the heart of Aspara lies the value of passing on knowledge to a people that were routinely exterminated in the 1970s for showing any sign of education. We also help financially so that rural weaving communities are able to meet western production standards as well as offering a competitive and beautiful product.
I wondered if you might like to learn more about Aspara and would love an opportunity to show you our collection and expand on the stories and people behind the label.
Please do take a peek at my online boutique www.asparasilk.com and feel free to contact me direct (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you'd like to learn more.