Creating more awareness about the direct effects of consumption on livelihoods and environmental issues is something WHOW supports. However, the confusion that arises around these topics is something WHOW tries to avoid. We aim to inform you as good as possible, by telling the story behind our products.
WHOW works hard to produce environmentally friendly products. Our products contain both short and long-staple cotton. The short-staple cotton grows organically and is produced by smallholders. There is no possibility yet to grow the long-staple cotton organically in Myanmar, as it is still in the research stage. Did you know that organic cotton equals only around 10% of the world cotton production? We are proud our bags contain 60% and our Aprons 50% Myanmar organic cotton.
In line with trying to produce environmental friendly products, we focus mainly on natural dyes made out of barks, plants and flowers. Natural dyes are an efficient and creative way to reduce environmental impact and enable the use of non-toxic, low impact solutions.
From our perspective, transparency is fair. Sharing knowledge creates awareness which allows you to define fair from your perspective. We choose to be transparent throughout the production process and treat everyone involved the way we want to be treated. We share the story of WHO made it and HOW it’s made. Then it is up to you to decide if WHOW is fair trade.
We prefer to keep WHOW small and local and to work closely together with everyone involved. We choose to source all our material from the same handweaving workshop, so we can trace the cotton all the way to the growers. There are some new exciting collaborations with other producers coming up. To keep it personal, we work with two sewing workshops and one hand screen-printer. For WHOW, quality is a priority over quantity, especially regarding relationships. This takes time and effort for everyone involved but also brings more joy and pride to our end products.
We reinvest 10% back into the communities. This is handed directly to the women in the weaving workshop or the committee of the farmers’ village. We believe empowerment is letting people decide for themselves what the causes are worth investing in within the given context.
We combined our backgrounds in Anthropology and Graphic Design with a shared interest for creativity to start up WHOW.
After working and living abroad for years, we decided to visit Myanmar. Impressed by the genuine friendliness of the people, the creativity and handcraft skills we were instantly convinced; this is the place to start up WHOW.
Since 2017 we call Mandalay home. Not long after arrival, we met our dear friends and partners, Kaw and Htet. Together we made a good team to make WHOW happen.
WHOW is an ongoing story we would like to share with you.