Interview with SOPHIE GARNIER, founder of KALINKO.

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Kalinko was born after the founder Sophie Garnier lived in yangon for a year and worked for an investment and consulting firm that established a sustainable business in Burma. At that time, Sophie began to meet with the craftsmen they were working with.

The company, which launched in November 2016, has grown from a one-person team in London and Rangoon to a team of eight over the past 15 months. They are now working with 87 craft families from all over the country, and their networks are expanding rapidly.

How did the idea of sustainable development begin? What prompted you to find Kalinko?

Great question, because it is a desire to create sustainability for our artisans, leading us to the company. Around the world, old technological traditions are being lost in cheap ways, and factories are replacing the need for hand-made ones. We believe the threat is particularly acute in Burma, where our craft family has been isolated from the global market for 60 years under the military dictatorship.

Our studios are short of demand and are forced out of work to supplement their income. Our main goal is to help them return to their best areas and become full-time workers again. We want to provide them with enough income to support their families, and to invest time in training the next generation to keep their skills alive.

To enter a new market is the key to the survival, so we work closely with them, how to hone their products in order to improve the international grade, improve the quality of the finished product to meet the world expect to provide advice.

You are very unique in the market, you really focus on the cane from Burma – where the best rattan products come from and tell us more about the connection between the product and the place.

We are biased, but we do think that the Burmese vine is the best in the world. First, it’s technology; Through compared with Thailand and Indonesia production of cheap products, the rattan weaving more closely, that makes work more solid, durable, you can sit on myanmar to flip the cane of the bin, not broken – the tried and tested! ).

Second, the reeds used in Burmese cane make it very suitable for handicrafts: it has been throughout the process (unlike bamboo is hollow), making it one of nature’s most powerful materials. It grows all the year round, all over Burma, and soon after harvest it grows. So it’s a miracle material, woven by some of the world’s most experienced weavers in a completely sustainable way.

You are very unique in the market, you really focus on the cane from Burma – where the best rattan products come from and tell us more about the connection between the product and the place.

We are biased, but we do think that the Burmese vine is the best in the world. First, it’s technology; Through compared with Thailand and Indonesia production of cheap products, the rattan weaving more closely, that makes work more solid, durable, you can sit on myanmar to flip the cane of the bin, not broken – the tried and tested! ).

Second, the reeds used in Burmese cane make it very suitable for handicrafts: it has been throughout the process (unlike bamboo is hollow), making it one of nature’s most powerful materials. It grows all the year round, all over Burma, and soon after harvest it grows. So it’s a miracle material, woven by some of the world’s most experienced weavers in a completely sustainable way.

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