HOW WE GIVE BACK
Our goal is focused on generating profit for purpose, empowering these communities through trade whilst paying each weaver a premium for her Bilum. This in turn helps to support the women with regular income for school fees, living expenses and improved livelihood. In addition to this, we work directly with the weaving communities to help meet specific needs.
Earlier this year, we teamed with Books 4 PNG Kids, an organisation headed up by Heather Doonan which is helping to improve early reader literacy in Papua New Guinea. To support the cause, we called on our community to donate children’s books to our store, which were then distributed to schools in some of the most remote regions in PNG. We also hosted a community drive for unwanted jumpers and knitwear and received another overwhelming response with six large boxes sent to the weavers to be used as upcycled yarns in their Bilum.
Photo by Patrick Leahy
In recent years, we have partnered with conscious-minded companies to raise funds via donations of their essential items and beauty products. Organisations such as Tsuno organic pads, Natio, No Pong Natural Deodorant, Koala Eco, Made in Mada, Kosmea Australia, Shu Beauty Works and Orchard St. joined forces with us and together we were able to raise over $2,000 which enabled the weavers to make important upgrades to the Blue Haus facilities, such as a sanitation project, which was completed in July 2019.
In June this year, we travelled to the village of Goroka, in the country’s Eastern Highlands Province, to reunite with the weaving communities for a special Bilum market celebration. This latest meeting marked an important opportunity to come together – many of the women are living without electricity, they suffer from endemic health problems and domestic violence, and the Sepik River has recently polluted from oil spills which now come up through the ground. There is still so much work to be done. During our visit, we provided the women with 82 pairs of shoes that were kindly donated by the Sydney-based brand Jac + Jack, and we supplied dozens of reading spectacles to assist those women with failing eyesight. This year we also installed solar panels at the studio and we are working towards developing further spaces in the future.
It is our focus to continue to deepen our engagement with communities in both Australia and PNG through financial support for community-lead projects, charitable initiatives and employment opportunities.
If you would like to collaborate with us, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org