Community Leaders in Sustainable Fashion – Professor Jan Jongruck

Handwoven and Embroidered Karen Women’s Fashion

Metiisto Fashion is very active in the artisan communities producing our sustainable fashion items. Our network also stays in contact with several educational institutions and other organizations further assisting in these people’s development.

Allow us to introduce Ass. Prof. Dr. Patamawadee Jongruck, but we can call her Ajarn Jan for short. She currently holds tenure at the Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration at Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

Through her community work, she was pivotal in bringing us into contact with the artisans behind our handwoven women’s fashion items.

“This village used to be sponsored by the Queen Sirikit Foundation for weaving, so their weaving skills are excellent!”

Ass. Prof. Dr. Patamawadee Jongruck

Chiang Mai University, Thailand

Cashless Communities – Utopia or Reality?

Imagine, if you can, a society that doesn’t rely on cash as the main way of fulfilling daily needs. A society where most interactions revolve around combined efforts undertaken solely to benefit those in need within the community.

Utopian, you say? Perhaps you are right, yet it still exists within small rural communities, like, for example, the Karen living in the Tung Ton Ngiew village of Omkoi District, located in Chiang Mai province, Northern Thailand.

Sustainable Development Changes Lives

Prof. Jongruck initially cooperated with this group to help them step away from the illegal practices of growing opium poppies.

“I assisted several government agencies in reducing opium cultivation in the region. Since weaving cotton wrap around dresses and scarves is the only thing the villagers love to do outside of the rice-growing season, I helped them to set up a group to get some seed money from the relevant local administrative organizations.”

After having established this, she continued supporting them to create a unique success story. “My role now is to connect the group with outsiders who have the potential to buy their embroidered cotton fabrics, aiding their sustainable self development.

This village used to be sponsored by the Queen Sirikit Foundation for weaving, so their weaving skills are excellent!”

Handwoven Fashion Accessories

This is where you, as a fan of Metiisto Fashion, come into the picture. These people’s only financial need is to cover medical and transportation fees to the nearest hospital, about 2 hours away from their village. By purchasing their handwoven fabrics from us, you’re helping to safeguard their health.

Educational Support

Metiisto Fashion is already discussing our continued support for this community, potentially through educational opportunities. As soon as the travel restrictions are lifted, we will organize  a meeting with all parties involved. This way we can discuss how to progress and intensify our involvement with this project.

Thank you to Professor Jongruck for her inspirational actions and invaluable help in connecting Metiisto Fashion with this amazing group of artisans.

A few of the products we’ve purchased from them, such as handwoven wrap around dresses and embroidered shawls, are featured in the pictures. Also shown here are some images of their surroundings, and of course, Ajarn Jan herself.

If you have any more questions or want to know more about handmade fashion accessories, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Photo by Robin Canfield on Unsplash