TEXT: REBECA SCHILLER
Sasibai Kimis is passionate about social issues particularly environmental sustainability and recognizing the talents of craftspeople. Combining that zeal and her intellect, Sasibai, whose background is in finance, decided in 2013 to launch Earth Heir, a social business focusing on luxury craftsmanship that highlight the skills and talents of artisans in Asia.
The idea of Earth Heir started when Sasibai traveled through Cambodia and became enamored by the handwoven scarves made by local craftspeople. Encouraged by a business mentor to take her interests in craft and social issues and turn it into a business that would make a bigger impact in the lives of the artisans, helping them preserve their traditions and cultural heritage
Earth Heir partners with numerous artisans across Asia where many of the products like scarves, shawls, clutch bags and baskets come from countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Turkey and India. The company promotes fair trade principles and helps artisans create sustainable livelihoods. Earth Heir also works with with corporate clients, Government bodies, social sector organizations to help promote and grow the artisan sector.
An advocate of preserving traditions and using natural fibers and biodegradable materials, Sasibai is also a proponent of upcycling. The company recently introduced “Nelly” bags woven from plastic strips after they were told from weavers that getting rattan was becoming difficult to acquire. The new bags, made in Borneo, come with a request to customers that once the bags become unusable or needs repairs to return it to Earth Heir so that the company can recycle or upcycle.
As part of the company’s mission, 10% of all sales go towards charities such as Chab Dai, a coalition of NGOs working with sex trafficking victims in Cambodia that seeks to empower trafficked persons, and WeForest, which plants two trees for every scarf sold.
For more information: visit www.earthheir.com.