Selyn is Sri Lanka’s only Fairtrade guaranteed Handloom Company that engages the traditional Sri Lankan community of handloom weavers in bringing to you products made of 100% cotton and infinite measures of skill and devotion. They weave cotton fabrics that are transformed into toys, children’s accessories, educational and interactive toys, home accessories, household textiles and linens, garments, jewellery and many other products. These products go into the local and export markets and can be found within Sri Lanka, the European Union, the US and parts of Asia. Founded in 1991 by Sandra Wanduragala, they started work with 15 women in the village of Wanduragala in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka. Joined shortly thereafter by her brother, Hilary Wanduragala, Selyn now has around 1000 members within its organisation.
The tradition of the loom takes its roots at the very inception of Sri Lankan history. Today the industry faces a decline due to various reasons ranging from the lack of skilled expertise, uncompetitive market prices, out-dated designs and lack of infrastructure and technology. Selyn takes on this challenge to revive their heritage and extend its benefits to their rural women and men. Their fundamental values stem from the very foundation of their organization. They are primarily committed to quality and to innovative design. Their dye house gives you all the colours of a rainbow and at our handloom workshops, they weave a myriad of fabrics, which become home textiles, garments and toys. Their local showrooms also house a beautiful variety of handicrafts inspired by Sri Lanka’s traditional industries and modified to suit modern tastes and trends.
Throughout this entire process of colour and design, they are also strongly committed to their people. Ninety-five percent of those in their organisations are women. Most of them have been unable to continue work in the mainstream job market due to various reasons; marriage, the woman’s traditional role as a housewife, having to babysit young children or grandchildren, helping their husbands in paddy cultivation and other such cultural constraints and stereotypes. Their organization is structured taking into account this reality. They own and operate 5 central production houses. Nearly 200 individuals work from their own homes. Further to this and uniquely, they helped establish around 20 independent entrepreneurs who employ between 20-35 workers in their own workshops.
In addition to assistance on infrastructure, technical aspects and a guaranteed flow of work, their members can use services such as health camps and day care centre facilities, the latter encouraging younger women to work. They are also able to build their capacities by participating in life skills and leadership and entrepreneurship development programs. The life skills programs range from how to deal with pertinent social issues such as domestic abuse, alcoholism, women’s health and balancing their work with their personal lives. The leadership and entrepreneurship programs are specifically designed for elected leaders to think outside the box and include sessions on business skills and most importantly on how to identify and maximise opportunities around them. They hope not only to empower them financially but also create a way of life within which they are comfortable.
In their collections, you will find an array of beautifully designed traditional saris, blouses, kurtas, sarongs and shirts for women, men and children alike. Their wide range of jewellery is made out of recycled cloth and it is this way, they waste nothing! Fashion at Selyn has a conscience; wear their beautiful garments and accessories and directly contribute to the livelihood of the numerous hands that create them. Selyn is more than just a Handloom company; they are a Sri Lankan Community.
We do sell samples of most of our fabrics. Look for the "Order Swatch" button associated with each fabric. Because many of the fabrics we stock are not re-orderable, it is possible that a fabric could sell out by the time you receive your swatch.
Sri Lanka's Handloom Textile Industry is centuries old. The industry has helped showcase the undying creativity of generations of Sri Lankans taking them to the international arena.
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