Ma Te Sai, Luang Pranbang, Laos

Ma Te Sai was founded in 2010 by Emi Weir and Cleménce Pabion, when they recognised a gap for Fairtrade products and the opportunity for village artisans to earn sustainable livelihoods, whilst preserving unique handicrafts.


In 2013, Ma Te Sai trained women in Ban Nya Nyang villages in Nambak District, 2.5 hours from Luang Prabang to sew.

Three of these women are now employed by the organisation; of these, one is the breadwinner for her family, and all have been able to renovate their homes.


In addition to training women on sewing, Ma Te Sai focuses on product development and linkages to the market. Until recently they had a shop in Vientiane but had to close due to poor sales however they continue linking with hotels to create showcases and sell their products more widely.


Ma Te Sai are one of ten organisations in Laos that have been awarded the Fairtrade Laos accreditation. As part of this, they are commitment to supporting and developing the skillset of local artisans. They do this by buying raw materials and products from village artisans, village cooperatives and organisations that support vulnerable groups in Laos. They order cotton from the Ban Nya Nyan villages, and buy paper products made by the Lao Disabled Women’s Development Centre and crafts made by family of UXO survivors through the Quality of Life Association in Xiengkhouang. These products are bought at a fair price to encourage local artisans to continue with their traditions and craft, whilst earning a better livelihood. Ma Te Sai have also been supporting and collaborating with Sengsaveng since 2016, an organisation supporting women and girls at risk of human trafficking and/or sexual exploitation; Sengsaveng has a vocational training centre to offer the women an opportunity to earn their own livelihoods. Ma Te Sai sell their Savan range of products at Sengsavang’s centre.


For more information, visit their website.