La Vie Devant Soie
Handmade with recycled silk and surplus textiles by artisans working for a fairer trade by training deaf individuals in Cambodia. Individuals with disabilities are often regarded with fear which makes obtaining a job difficult. Much of Cambodia’s disabled population is forced to live in poverty, separate from the general population. La Vie Devant Soie's mission is to empower disabled women living in Phnom Penh with skilled training and dignified employment.
Silk weaving has been part of Cambodia's culture for centuries. At Angkor Wat, the ancient temple complex built in the early 12th century, images of women wearing traditional silk garments. Raw silk was one of Cambodia’s main exports until the political and civil war of the Khmer Rouge in the 1960's. As part of the Khmer's cultural crackdown, they destroyed a majority of Cambodia's mulberry trees where the silk worm lives. Today through the support of many NGO's the mulberry tree is being replanted and Cambodians are encouraged to weave again and preserve their rich silk weaving tradition.