In a country where more than 700,000 people work in garment factories on a minimum wage of $140USD a month, it is encouraging to see a social enterprise like Smateria.
Launched in 2006 by two Italian friends, Jennifer and Elisa, Smateria aimed to create beautiful, high-quality products using ‘bizarre’ materials, and to employ Cambodian workers in a fair and sustainable way, giving priority to women and mothers.
That, they have achieved! Today 85% of Smateria’s employees are women. They reap the benefits of a 13-month salary, comfortable working conditions, health insurance, professional training AND access to a free preschool and childcare centre right on the premises.
Smateria transforms recycled and repurposed materials into gorgeous new fashion accessories by mixing Italian design and Khmer craftsmanship. Smateria’s philosophy is simple: give new life to ‘poor’ materials, create something beautiful from materials that were meant for something else, and at every opportunity, recycle.
We at Temples and Markets love that each product sends an eco-friendly message that you can of course look beautiful without being wasteful. Although it is very difficult to pick our favourites, we have narrowed them down to a gift guide!
Travel Lovers – This Cable and Accessory Bag is fashioned from strong and durable Recycled Fishing Net by skilled Cambodian Tailors. Not only can it hold Cables and other Work Accessories, but it can also be used as a Make-up or Jewellery Case!
University Students – Available in four colours, this Smoto Messenger Bag is made from Recycled Fishing Net and the Flap from Recycled Motorbike Seats, meaning it is not just fun and funky, but it is eco-friendly, too!
Perfect for the Kids – What little one wouldn’t love carrying a Bear Backpack or Pirate Backpack? Each bag features comfortable padded straps, mesh side pocket, key snap, zips to close and a loop handle.
Him or Her -Padded Sleevesfor MacBooks - bright, bold colours and practical protection for your laptop. Be proud to tell the story behind Smateria when asked where your Macbook cover came from.
The Traveller -Sometimes the simplest of ideas are the best. The Shadow Shirt Folderis a travel solution designed to ensure you favourite garments arrive in tiptop condition when you're on the go. Fold around a t-shirt or shirt, tie it up and be happy at the time you've saved yourself in ironing. Such an original and unique gift.
Executive #Girlboss – These durable Upload Laptop Bags are available in two sizes and colours and feature several pockets for easy storage!
Ladies Day Out – Impress your friends with this Diva Canvas Black Leather Bag! It is fashioned from Recycled Leather sourced from Furniture Manufacturers and features three pockets and a zip to close! The adjustable strap will take you from day to night and keep your valuables safe
We simply adore Smateria, and if you take a look at their collection, we know you will too!
Temples and Markets is proud to be an authorised online stockist of Smateria Bags and Accessories and we showcase a wide ranging selection of their classic signature range and new designs.
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