Lifestyle Vietnam is the major home decor and gift fair in Vietnam and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. In 2014, Dream Weavers project gave representatives from six communes an opportunity to display their products at the fair. Ethnic textiles became one of the main themes of the fair and attracted significant interests from both buyers and fair visitors. This was the first time artisans from Dream Weavers project participated in a wholesale event.
The preparation for the fair took place in a year and multiple steps were taken to ensure the weavers and the supporting team were ready for the debut to export market. From restructuring material supply to improving design and quality control, artisan weavers in the project adopted multiple changes to move from household level to larger scale production. There were also cultural and language barriers to overcome. However, the hard work paid off as we received a lot of positive feedback from visitors and initiated potential business connections. The prospect of bringing the wonderful textiles of ethnic minorities in Vietnam to an international audience and improving livelihood of women artisans through export is more exciting than ever.
Dream Weavers at Lifestyle Vietnam – a short documentary by Paul Zetter, commissioned by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Products by Hanoi Design Centre/Dream Weavers Project.
Photos by Lucile Jaeghers, Patrik Nilson, Thao Nguyen, Hang Pham. Illustrations and featured image by Marie-Cecile Curieuse.