By upcycling these fabrics, Mekong Quilts not only curtails waste but also underscores the harmonious coexistence of beauty and sustainability. This partnership not only breathes new life into surplus materials but also champions a more mindful approach to craftsmanship.
Bamboo Christmas Trees: A Sustainable Tradition
As the holiday season approaches, Mekong Quilts re-introduces a delightful twist to the Christmas tradition. Christmas Bamboo trees, meticulously crafted by skilled artisans, are fast becoming a popular alternative to traditional evergreen trees. Not only does this choice honor the spirit of sustainability by eliminating the need to cut down trees annually, but it also offers a timeless piece of décor that can be cherished for years to come. Each tree is a testament to the artistry of the makers and a symbol of a more eco-conscious celebration.
Mekong Quilts’ bamboo Christmas tree
Bags with a Purpose: Redefining Shopper Sustainability
At Mekong Quilts, sustainability goes beyond the products themselves. The shopping experience is also curated with the environment in mind. Every customer is provided with a white bag made of non-woven fabric – an environmentally friendly and biodegradable material. This thoughtful touch extends the ethos of conscious consumerism to the very act of purchasing.
Additionally, for purchases exceeding 500,000 VND, a fabric bag crafted from materials donated by Scancom is offered, further emphasizing the commitment to sustainable practices.
Harnessing Nature’s Bane: Crafting with Water Hyacinth
In the verdant expanse of the Mekong Delta, an unusual ally emerges against the relentless tide of water hyacinth. This invasive plant, which wreaks havoc on local ecosystems, has found an unexpected purpose. Artisans painstakingly select and dry its stems, extracting a uniform beige ‘rattan’—the very essence that imparts Mekong Quilts’ creations with their distinctive, nature-forward hue.
For these artisans, the process is an intricate dance, where stems must meet a 40-centimeter threshold to be woven practically. Each bag is a labor of love, demanding a full day’s dedication from a skilled craftswoman. It’s a transformative journey for both material and maker.
An artisan carefully crafting water hyacinth bags
Water hyacinth, a newcomer to the region since the early 1900s, has brought its share of challenges, from hosting disease-carrying mosquito larvae to suffocating riverbeds, impacting aquatic life. Even as far as rural India, it’s caused power outages by clogging hydroelectric generators.
Yet, amidst its disruptive nature lies a silver lining. Water hyacinth, ironically, holds the potential for socio-economic upliftment. In the quiet district of Long Mỹ in Vietnam’s Hậu Giang province, artisans like Lâm Thị Thu Hương have found not only a livelihood but a lifeline. Introduced to this craft through Mekong Plus’ local partner NGO Ánh Dương centre, Hương now crafts water hyacinth bags from the comfort of her home. The result? Nearly $100 a month, a supplemental income that ensures her children’s education continues uninterrupted.
A Breath of Fresh Air: Bamboo Bicycle Tours
Beyond their workshop, Mekong Quilts extends their commitment to the environment through bamboo bicycle tours. Crafted by skilled artisans, these eco-friendly rides offer a unique way to explore the verdant landscapes of Saigon and the Mekong Delta. As pedals turn and the scenery unfolds, conversations about the environment are sparked, providing a platform to discuss the environmental projects led by Mekong Quilts and Mekong Plus.
These tours not only showcase the beauty of the region but also exemplify a sustainable mode of exploration.
A Symphony of Textiles: Batting Cotton and Environmental Sensitivity
Traditionally, polyester batting is used to add volume and highlight stitching in quilts. However, Mekong Quilts recently acquired a stock of cotton batting, providing an alternative for customers. This transition not only addresses a common concern but also showcases Mekong Quilts’ unwavering dedication to environmental sensitivity in their product offerings. It is a testament to their commitment to providing choices that align with both quality craftsmanship and environmental responsibility.
One of Mekong Quilts’ Batik bed quilt
Fabric of Generosity: Collaborative Donations
Collaboration is key in Mekong Quilts’ environmental efforts. Donations of fabric from Scancom or else from Everlane, a Californian fashion brand introduced to Mekong Quilts by Global Hand, serve as a testament to the collective commitment to sustainability. These donations breathe new life into discarded materials, allowing them to find purpose in the hands of Mekong Quilts’ skilled artisans. This collaborative spirit not only showcases the potential of collective action but also reinforces the idea that positive change can be driven by a community dedicated to a shared cause.
A Final Word
Mekong Quilts is not simply a purveyor of handcrafted goods; it is a testament to the boundless possibilities that arise when craftsmanship meets environmental consciousness. With every stitch, every choice of material, and every collaborative effort, Mekong Quilts reaffirms its commitment to nurturing nature, stitching sustainability, and leaving an indelible mark on the world of traditional craftsmanship.
Through these initiatives, Mekong Quilts not only adorns homes with beauty but also nurtures a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance between artistry and environmental stewardship.
Where to find us
- 85, Pasteur Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- 2 P. Hàng Ngang, Hàng Đào, Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi
- Or online at www.mekongquilts.com