Malia Designs is a collaboration between three women-led enterprises in Cambodia who are dedicated to fighting human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Together, they employ over 300 artisans, mostly women and people with disabilities, who are especially vulnerable to the industry. Their largest producer group is located in a village just outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Many of these makers had moved to the city seeking employment only to find limited job opportunities. Another group employs people with disabilities, polio survivors, and those injured by one of the million remnants of landmines that are scattered across Cambodia due to the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge regime. The third group, in the heart of Phnom Penh, employs people with disabilities and those who are deaf.
These skilled makers handcraft bags and accessories that are inspired by the colors and culture of Cambodia. They use a range of materials that are locally-sourced and eco-friendly, from traditionally handwoven silks and cottons to upcycled cement and feed bags. We carry their line of hand screen-printed cotton canvas products, like this crossbody bag, made from fabric discarded by garment factories. We love that their fabrics change seasonally so there’s always something new to discover.
Malia Designs is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, which means that all artisans are guaranteed a safe working environment with fair and stable wages. In addition to creating jobs and selling fashionable goods, Malia Designs has a philanthropic arm, which has donated over $160,00 to anti-trafficking organizations in Cambodia and the US. They also partner with Damnok Toek, a Cambodian-based nonprofit that assists vulnerable children and their families.