Coconut String Bag
A string bag with a great story!
Handmade by the Araliya Community Company in Sri Lanka, coconut fibre string bags are strong, flexible and long lasting eco-friendly carry bags made from the waste product of a mature coconut husk.
Great for shopping, storing vegetables, taking to the beach and also on a boat, coconut fibre won't rot in salt water!
ImportAnts is an Australian brand whose passion is to create beautiful natural alternatives that replace plastics in the home. They believe it is sometimes the smallest conscious changes that make the greatest difference and we are all on an imperfect journey towards a more ethical and eco-friendly world.
ImportAnts works with the Araliya Community Company to bring a global market for their homewares. It started when a group of Nuns from Rome began a school for the hearing impaired in Sri Lanka. They saw the need for an income for the mothers of these children and began a working group with them in the kindergarten of the school. From these small beginning the Araliya Community Company began.
The women are employed in part time permanent positions, working five half days per week at award wages, with a pension provided at retirement age. Working in eight small groups, close to their homes, each member owns a share of the company and each group elects their own board member, contributing in all the company’s decisions.
Originally the women worked from a group leader’s home but as they have grown some of them now work from the warehouse and office in Kochchikade which was built in 2008 with a grant from an international financial consortium that invests in developing countries through financing producers cooperatives linked to Fair trade markets and social enterprises.
In 2015 they completed the building of a factory allowing the women from Katana a permanent place to work from. With the growing demand for their products in Australia, the Netherlands and now also America the community has expanded to employ more women from the local villages.
The products sold by this wonderful company not only allow these women to earn an income but provide a network for social change and group discussion and also contributes to the Don Severino Fabriani Institute for hearing impaired.