Confession: I didn’t really know what Black Friday was all about until I moved out of Canada. It was a faint whisper from the south. Breaking messages from the six o’ clock network news that would beam from Buffalo, just two hours below us. Up north, we start holiday shopping when it got cold enough. But we slowly got the point. Chaos, a lot of running, and plenty of anxiety over getting that discount. Then Cait wrote about how Black Friday is gross last year and we decided to fix that perception.
This year we’re turning Black Friday up on its head again and I thought I’d get started a little earlier on that. It all started last week when Jane showed off this gorgeous travel tech kit she had just acquired in Phnom Penh. This lead to some product-envy-related drooling and through Jane, I had the chance to meet Veasna who has been with Happy Silk Cambodia and the Women for Women Foundation for the past ten years. W4W is a local Cambodian NGO forged to promote the engagement of women in society, the economy and civic action. One way of doing this has been to support the employment and entrepreneurship of women in the production of textiles and other beautiful products while also paying them an ethical and sustainable wage. And when I walked into Happy Silk (corner of No. 9, Street 178 in Phnom Penh), I pretty much fell over myself on their new line of brass jewelry, high quality cotton kroma carry-alls and most of all, Jane’s well cushioned, super sturdy ikat travel tech kit. All of it is made by women in an organization that is also administered by Cambodian women. It’s a cause I can get on top of, and immediately volunteer to take product photos of.
Which is exactly what I did when I rolled out of bed in a turkey-hangover today. These are only a selection of the gorgeous pieces Veasna’s got in store. If you’re also in Phnom Penh this Sunday, you’ll be able to find a selection of these items at Big WIG Christmas Fair, and if you’re not in country, you can also shop these items online at Sudaya.
Let the ethical and sustainable shopping begin!
All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use. Cait+Tiff are not liable for any credit issues that may follow shopping these items.