(Photo: Nataly Lee)
There's an old Khmer proverb that goes: drop by drop fills the bucket (តក់ៗពេញបំពង់), which means that every little bit counts.
So whether you've shopped with us individually, been a wholesale partner, ordered customized merchandise, or worked with us to make gorgeous garments for your brand or organization this year, please know that all of the drops you've contributed have gone a long way to helping fill our bucket. And we're not exaggerating when we say that would not have made it through this year without you.
The world and it's ever-evolving conditions continue to present new challenges for businesses like ours, and in many ways things now feel as uncertain as ever. But to be perfectly honest, we're not here to complain. We've made it through stronger than when we started, and we know that the future is totally what we make of it.
Who would have thought a year ago that we would have achieved all that we have? Being stocked at Myer; expanding partnerships into Europe, Japan, and North America; increasing salaries and benefits for our team in the midst of economic uncertainty.
In Cambodia, we've upcycled around 5,000 kilograms of remnant textiles and contributed thousands of dollars to CLS and other local community initiatives. This year, we've done our best to put more more money into local businesses, tradespeople and merchants facing dire circumstances as the pandemic drags on. In an area of Cambodia where economic opportunities are scarce, drop by drop fills the bucket.
You see, our thinking is that perhaps one of the best things we can do to promote a more just approach to environmental sustainability is to make decent jobs available for more people, especially women, in the developing world. Decent jobs mean an opportunity to have a voice and to be a part of the conversation. Without a seat at the proverbial tables, people like us in developing economies are only ever pawns in someone else's game.
When it comes to sustainability and ethical standards for the fashion industry, we're here to be a part of that conversation; to engage and support where we can and to challenge and question where we must.
So rest assured, we've got big plans for 2022. From exploring prototypes for circular design to location scouting for potential new production spaces in Kampot (!), it's fair to say we're entering the new year with an incredible amount on our plate. Including an incredible amount of hope.
But, we're also saving space for all that cannot be predicted. If this year teaches us anything, it's to take nothing for granted and that there's enduring strength to be found in community.
So thank you again for being there for us as we navigated another year of historic challenges together. Your friendship and inspiration has meant the world to us, and we look forward to seeing more of you in the months and years ahead.
Thank you (សូមអរគុណ) from the bottom of our hearts.