YELLOW LEAF HAMMOCKS
Yellow Leaf Hammocks, identifies not as a charity but a group empowering community transformation. They strive to break the cycle of extreme poverty through sustainable job creation by empowering artisan weaver and their families; allowing them to earn a stable, healthy income through dignified work (known as “prosperity wage”).
They are currently working to create jobs for mothers and build a foundation for positive community transformation operate across three Thai weaving communities.
Find out more about their products at yellowleafhammocks.com
In the late 1970s, an aid worker and his family moved to Thailand and dedicated their lives to improving the conditions of the Mlabri’s people. The Mlabri people, a small Thai tribe, had faced a barrage of plagues and their numbers dwindled until UNESCO placed them on the “Endangered Languages List”, with only 300 Mlabri left in the world.
The aid worker and his family, despite facing threats from the local powers, persevered to find a new way for this community to earn an income while persevering their cultural values. An unlikely idea of turning their traditional weaving skills into hammocks was their key to success! Once the specifications regarding tensions and weaves of the hammock were finalized and production started, their hammocks were discovered by a Belgian hammock devotee who helped establish shops in tourist areas along the Thai coast.
Today Yellow Leaf Hammocks continues to work with the Mlabri people, and other communities, to develop consistent sales channels, build international partnerships and stabilize operations within the villages selling woven hammocks.
Hammock weaving provided the means of a stable, growing revenue which led to an incredible impact on the villages where they could build a community center and a school – where 100% of weaver’s children can go to instead of working in the fields.
Yellow Leaf helped further the demand for these hammocks to global markets and developed consistent sales channels to ensure year-round employment. There’s been a 650% increase in income, 1800 lives transformed across 3 communities where villagers move from earning less than $1/day in back-breaking slash and burn field labour to earning middle class wages for their weaving labour.
A partnership with Kiva has spurred financial training and financial planning, helping many weavers to open their first bank accounts. And with the sales of Yellow Leaf Hammocks continuing to accelerate, Yellow Leaf is also able to continue to expand and provide training and ongoing employment to hill tribe communities in the surrounding region. Yellow Leaf’s signature hammocks have also made the list of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2017!