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Bilum & Bilas is a PNG-based social enterprise that supports female artisans to develop a wider market for their crafts and improve their livelihoods.

Problem

Many women in Papua New Guinea try to earn supplementary income to support their families by selling their traditional crafts such as bilas and bilums, but market access is limited to unpredictable local sales, making it hard to earn enough income to survive.

Ever since arriving in Madang, Papua New Guinea in 2008,  Jessica Cassell, Founder and Creative Director of Bilum & Bilas, has been passionate about bilums and the creativity, skill and knowledge that goes into the craft. Knowing the international demand for sustainable, natural products like bilums, yet observing the daily struggles of female artisans became the catalyst in her addressing market access. In 2014 Bilum & Bilas was started as an online bilum store focused on linking artisanal products to international buyers in an effort to generate better income for bilum weavers and artisans.

Over time, our small team discovered the complexities, expense and instability of the craft and bilum supply chain. The intricate craftsmanship, traditional processing and labour that goes into creating a bilum is what makes them so unique, but it also means they are challenging to produce at a scale that provides the artisans with a stable and equitable income.

Solution

Working closely together we developed a solution and the Bilum & Bilas accessory was born.

Our designs are inspired by the beauty and essence of the bilum, and retain the traditional weaving techniques and natural fibres, yet in microform. Creating intricate representations of bilum technique, streamlines the making process, enabling our small team to optimise production and create stable jobs for Papua New Guinean women with these unique skills.

Our approach enables us to employ female artisans to design, develop and handcraft collections providing guaranteed income and a safe and secure work environment. Artisans receive training in fashion trends and international quality standards, supporting them to produce more competitive designs to build a sustainable business.

Betty Basket Bilum

$166.52
Accessories Accessories Bags Fashion Homewares

Bilum & Bilas is a PNG-based social enterprise that supports female artisans to develop a wider market for their crafts and improve their livelihoods.

Problem

Many women in Papua New Guinea try to earn supplementary income to support their families by selling their traditional crafts such as bilas and bilums, but market access is limited to unpredictable local sales, making it hard to earn enough income to survive.

Ever since arriving in Madang, Papua New Guinea in 2008,  Jessica Cassell, Founder and Creative Director of Bilum & Bilas, has been passionate about bilums and the creativity, skill and knowledge that goes into the craft. Knowing the international demand for sustainable, natural products like bilums, yet observing the daily struggles of female artisans became the catalyst in her addressing market access. In 2014 Bilum & Bilas was started as an online bilum store focused on linking artisanal products to international buyers in an effort to generate better income for bilum weavers and artisans.

Over time, our small team discovered the complexities, expense and instability of the craft and bilum supply chain. The intricate craftsmanship, traditional processing and labour that goes into creating a bilum is what makes them so unique, but it also means they are challenging to produce at a scale that provides the artisans with a stable and equitable income.

Solution

Working closely together we developed a solution and the Bilum & Bilas accessory was born.

Our designs are inspired by the beauty and essence of the bilum, and retain the traditional weaving techniques and natural fibres, yet in microform. Creating intricate representations of bilum technique, streamlines the making process, enabling our small team to optimise production and create stable jobs for Papua New Guinean women with these unique skills.

Our approach enables us to employ female artisans to design, develop and handcraft collections providing guaranteed income and a safe and secure work environment. Artisans receive training in fashion trends and international quality standards, supporting them to produce more competitive designs to build a sustainable business.

Simbuta Bilum Bag

$144.31
Accessories Accessories Bags Fashion Homewares

The Problem

Ghana is faced with 12% youth unemployment and more than 50% underemployment, both higher than overall unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan African countries. Despite major investments by both government and private sector, this challenge will intensify if job opportunities remain limited.

In Ghana, a major recipient of the world’s second-hand clothing, the problem has reached a breaking point. While this West African country has enjoyed a flourishing second-hand clothes market for more than half a century, the deluge of worn garments arriving there is overwhelming the country’s infrastructure.

A significant percentage of the clothing sent to the main market, Kantamanto — one of the largest second-hand clothing markets in the world — is unsaleable. And without the systems in place to recycle it, around 40 per cent of the used clothes imported into the country ends up rotting in landfill sites. More than 50 tonnes a day are being discarded, and many items are being dumped on wasteland and beaches and then finding their way into the sea.

The Solution

Kayadua hires 9 BIPOC employees that are paid a fair wage. Kayadua does not employ anyone below 18 years. Most of the production is in-house so there is a one on one relationship with everyone involved in the production stages.

40% of Kayadua product does the following

  • Uses upcycled material
  • Uses recycled materials
  • Uses deadstock materials
  • Reuses offcuts
  • Minimizes textile waste through design/cutting

Statement Neckpiece

$60.68
Accessories Fashion

The Problem

Ghana is faced with 12% youth unemployment and more than 50% underemployment, both higher than overall unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan African countries. Despite major investments by both government and private sector, this challenge will intensify if job opportunities remain limited.

In Ghana, a major recipient of the world’s second-hand clothing, the problem has reached a breaking point. While this West African country has enjoyed a flourishing second-hand clothes market for more than half a century, the deluge of worn garments arriving there is overwhelming the country’s infrastructure.

A significant percentage of the clothing sent to the main market, Kantamanto — one of the largest second-hand clothing markets in the world — is unsaleable. And without the systems in place to recycle it, around 40 per cent of the used clothes imported into the country ends up rotting in landfill sites. More than 50 tonnes a day are being discarded, and many items are being dumped on wasteland and beaches and then finding their way into the sea.

The Solution

Kayadua hires 9 BIPOC employees that are paid a fair wage. Kayadua does not employ anyone below 18 years. Most of the production is in-house so there is a one on one relationship with everyone involved in the production stages.

40% of Kayadua product does the following

  • Uses upcycled material
  • Uses recycled materials
  • Uses deadstock materials
  • Reuses offcuts
  • Minimizes textile waste through design/cutting

Agudie Bag

$116.93
Accessories Fashion Homewares

The Problem

Ghana is faced with 12% youth unemployment and more than 50% underemployment, both higher than overall unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan African countries. Despite major investments by both government and private sector, this challenge will intensify if job opportunities remain limited.

In Ghana, a major recipient of the world’s second-hand clothing, the problem has reached a breaking point. While this West African country has enjoyed a flourishing second-hand clothes market for more than half a century, the deluge of worn garments arriving there is overwhelming the country’s infrastructure.

A significant percentage of the clothing sent to the main market, Kantamanto — one of the largest second-hand clothing markets in the world — is unsaleable. And without the systems in place to recycle it, around 40 per cent of the used clothes imported into the country ends up rotting in landfill sites. More than 50 tonnes a day are being discarded, and many items are being dumped on wasteland and beaches and then finding their way into the sea.

The Solution

Kayadua hires 9 BIPOC employees that are paid a fair wage. Kayadua does not employ anyone below 18 years. Most of the production is in-house so there is a one on one relationship with everyone involved in the production stages.

40% of Kayadua product does the following

  • Uses upcycled material
  • Uses recycled materials
  • Uses deadstock materials
  • Reuses offcuts
  • Minimizes textile waste through design/cutting

Kaya Bag

$90.28
Accessories Fashion Homewares

The profit of this purchase will be donated to Eden Reforestation Projects to assist in planting approx 230 trees.

The Problem

Deforestation is a global phenomenon caused by a variety of factors. These factors range from large-scale slash and burn practices, to unsustainable agriculture, to daily community forest destruction.Regions that are most impacted by deforestation are highly poverty-stricken and underdeveloped areas. With few options to support their families, often, members of impoverished communities are forced to destroy their local environment to survive, such as cutting down trees for construction, fuel, heat, and agricultural purposes. While this solves a short-term problem, long-term consequences arise when forests are cut down and not restored. The impact of deforestation is dramatic because it causes severe flooding, erosion, and desertification. The long-term effects of deforestation lead to even worse environmental devastation.

The Solution

There are two key elements to successful reforestation. The first is that reforestation must present a benefit to the local population. Due to the unsustainable relationship between the land and the people, communities suffering from deforestation are often the same as those living in extreme poverty. It is essential to be committed to and work alongside local villages and communities to achieve a successful and longstanding reforestation effort. Eden Reforestation Projects utilizes an “Employ to Plant” methodology to benefit the members in the local communities in which we plant. Through steady employment, impoverished villagers can begin to afford daily necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medicine.The second critical element rests in funding. Without donors, business partners, and grants, there is little hope for successful and impactful reforestation.

Soccer Ball Design

$118.41
Accessories Bags Fashion Gifts Under $250

The profit of this purchase will be donated to Eden Reforestation Projects to assist in planting approx 230 trees.

The Problem

Deforestation is a global phenomenon caused by a variety of factors. These factors range from large-scale slash and burn practices, to unsustainable agriculture, to daily community forest destruction.Regions that are most impacted by deforestation are highly poverty-stricken and underdeveloped areas. With few options to support their families, often, members of impoverished communities are forced to destroy their local environment to survive, such as cutting down trees for construction, fuel, heat, and agricultural purposes. While this solves a short-term problem, long-term consequences arise when forests are cut down and not restored. The impact of deforestation is dramatic because it causes severe flooding, erosion, and desertification. The long-term effects of deforestation lead to even worse environmental devastation.

The Solution

There are two key elements to successful reforestation. The first is that reforestation must present a benefit to the local population. Due to the unsustainable relationship between the land and the people, communities suffering from deforestation are often the same as those living in extreme poverty. It is essential to be committed to and work alongside local villages and communities to achieve a successful and longstanding reforestation effort. Eden Reforestation Projects utilizes an “Employ to Plant” methodology to benefit the members in the local communities in which we plant. Through steady employment, impoverished villagers can begin to afford daily necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medicine.The second critical element rests in funding. Without donors, business partners, and grants, there is little hope for successful and impactful reforestation.

Skin Pig Design

$185.02
Accessories Fashion Gifts Under $250

The profit of this purchase will be donated to Eden Reforestation Projects to assist in planting approx 230 trees.

The Problem

Deforestation is a global phenomenon caused by a variety of factors. These factors range from large-scale slash and burn practices, to unsustainable agriculture, to daily community forest destruction.Regions that are most impacted by deforestation are highly poverty-stricken and underdeveloped areas. With few options to support their families, often, members of impoverished communities are forced to destroy their local environment to survive, such as cutting down trees for construction, fuel, heat, and agricultural purposes. While this solves a short-term problem, long-term consequences arise when forests are cut down and not restored. The impact of deforestation is dramatic because it causes severe flooding, erosion, and desertification. The long-term effects of deforestation lead to even worse environmental devastation.

The Solution

There are two key elements to successful reforestation. The first is that reforestation must present a benefit to the local population. Due to the unsustainable relationship between the land and the people, communities suffering from deforestation are often the same as those living in extreme poverty. It is essential to be committed to and work alongside local villages and communities to achieve a successful and longstanding reforestation effort. Eden Reforestation Projects utilizes an “Employ to Plant” methodology to benefit the members in the local communities in which we plant. Through steady employment, impoverished villagers can begin to afford daily necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medicine.The second critical element rests in funding. Without donors, business partners, and grants, there is little hope for successful and impactful reforestation.

Telefomin Bilum

$162.82
Accessories Fashion Gifts Under $250

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