This company was started by Ranga, a young photographer who had a vision - to recycle old newspapers into practical, beautiful bowls, mats and more. From a room in the back of his house, he developed the technique to make these amazing products. He now provides employment to women in rural communities who can work from home or in the workshop, on a full or part-time basis.
Janaka de Silva
Janaka is a highly skilled artist who runs an art gallery in Galle Fort. He paints traditional Sri Lankan Buddhist motifs and scenes on recycled wooden furniture panels, lotus flower mandala designs on wooden plates, and wonderfully decorative little wooden elephants.
This small business in Sri Lanka is owned and run by a young couple, Manisha and Ruwan, who work from home. Everything they produce is handmade using local materials. They specialise in coconut shell crafts, including bowls and intricately carved jewellery.
Kandyan Arts Association
This is a Sri Lankan government-sponsored organisation that supports traditional arts and crafts in Sri Lanka, and the livelihoods of local craftsmen and women who make these products. Seen below is a villager adding the distinctive lacquer pattern to the handles of coconut shell spoons.
This company makes paper products out of elephant dung. The process involves extensive washing so the final result is odourless and very eco-friendly! We sell their wonderful, lifelike elephant figurines.
Rice & Carry
This Fair Trade-certified business operates on the east coast of Sri Lanka and makes bags, purses and wallets from upcycled plastic rice sacks and hessian spice sacks. These are waste products that would otherwise have gone into landfill, so not only do they reduce waste, they also provide employment for women who make these products.
Mr Thennakoon runs a family business hand-turning and finishing products made from coconut wood. The range includes bowls, egg cups, plates, and mortar and pestles. Here he is applying the final coat of a natural, wax-based preservative stain.
Sanjeevane is an award-winning lacquer artist in Sri Lanka. He works from his home in a small village in the central hill country of Sri Lanka, creating delicately etched lacquer pots made from wood. He uses traditional methods of pot turning, applying the lacquer and etching. Here he uses a manually operated spindle to apply the first layer of lacquer.