Sasibai Kimis started her small business, Earth Heir, two years ago with a clear idea of what she wanted to do.

She purchased handmade textiles from artisans at above market rate, and marketed these luxury items to wealthy customers. The idea was to support craftsmen with a fair living while ensuring that their art does not wither away.

It was a simple idea but difficult to execute.

Sasibai successfully sold many exquisite scarves and clutchbags through crafts fairs but soon discovered hidden obstacles.

Many people thought craft items were expensive in comparison to the cheap, disposable fashion that has come to characterise modern wardrobes. And sometimes, the crafts themselves may not meet contemporary demand.

Hence, Earth Heir began a new track last year.

They began working with craftsmen to produce designs that would appeal to the modern market, while still using their traditional techniques. They are currently working with craftspeople in Malaysia, Cambodia, India, Uzbekistan and Thailand, via village cooperatives.

“People often think craft does not look good or is cheap. We want craft to be beautiful, and also a quality product,” she said.

At the same time, they are also trying to create awareness through social media about the destructiveness of disposable fashion. Buying throw-away clothes damages the environment, and virtually enslaves thousands who are paid a pittance to make these garments.

“Many of us don’t think about where our clothes come from, or where it goes to,” Sasibai said. “I started off like that too, I used to buy bags of clothes and didn’t care if they fell apart quickly.”

“We started off wanting to help artisans but realised we have to work on the whole spectrum,” she said.

“People often think craft does not look good or is cheap. We want craft to be beautiful, and also a quality product,” she said.

At the same time, they are also trying to create awareness through social media about the destructiveness of disposable fashion. Buying throw-away clothes damages the environment, and virtually enslaves thousands who are paid a pittance to make these garments.

“Many of us don’t think about where our clothes come from, or where it goes to,” Sasibai said. “I started off like that too, I used to buy bags of clothes and didn’t care if they fell apart quickly.”

“We started off wanting to help artisans but realised we have to work on the whole spectrum,” she said.