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FAQ – Our Fair Trade Prices
Fair trade for both producers and customers.
Barring exploitative conditions, real silk, as well as fully natural colours, can never be cheap, considering the amount of resources, time and care required to produce one kilogramme of raw silk, one vat of natural dye, one beautiful weaving. It takes about 5000 cocoons to produce the 200 grammes of raw silk that are processed into a plain weave shawl, and those 5000 cocoons will have eaten some 56 kilograms of mulberry leaves!
This silk cannot be cheap if fair trade is upheld for the purpose of allowing weavers and dyers to preserve a tradition of very demanding, highly skilled, slow work – and to make it flourish into the future by bringing young women and girls back to the looms.
At the same time, we keep our prices fair for buyers to afford authentic hand-worked silk that otherwise tends to be priced upwards for the luxury market. The price you pay is the price received by our artisans plus the normal costs of running the company and minimal staff expenses (the director’s work remains unpaid). No financial profit is built into our pricing. Our sense of profit-making is profit for Nature, culture and happiness – with our present level of pricing, this profit is already happening. Once we achieve a stabler financial position, we should be in a position to pay a (Thai level) wage for our director. Possible financial profits in the future will be used for community requirements voted on by the membership.
We believe that if you are interested in our products, you are also ‘buying’ into the ‘story’ of a tradition and its ethical revitalization. This is a human, not a mechanical, transaction. We do not view our customers as anonymous buyers, but as friends, and ‘fair trade’ is also about restoring something of the market-place where producers and consumers know each other. In this sense, we have included in this website some pages where you can meet the artisans (‘Artisans’ button, and ‘Weavers modeling’ button), as well as ‘Friends in silk’ where some of our customers have accepted to appear.
Our prices are in US dollars for the sake of convenience. We may need to adjust them periodically to account for fluctuations in the Thai baht rate.