The partnership between PaperTale and Selyn shows that artisanal craftsmanship and technology are not mutually exclusive, but can enhance each other.
A remarkable partnership came about when PaperTale started the collaboration with Selyn Textiles. Selyn is a network of 1,000 women workers using handlooms, a traditional way of production, located in Sri Lanka. In their work, Selyn’s focus lies on the empowerment of communities and creating a social impact. Therefore, PaperTale and Selyn were a perfect match.
Implementing PaperTale in a different context
Before the collaboration with PaperTale, there was no digitization in Selyn’s process, making Selyn an interesting case for PaperTale. Through learning from the challenges, we were able to fine tune our technology to make it suitable for non-digital environments.
Reaping the rewards
Implementation of the PaperTale technology allowed Selyn to add more value to their materials, and to gain interesting partnerships. The banana bag represents this synergy. This bag came to life with the backing of USAID, offering a platform for designer Nikolaj Storm to showcase his talent. PaperTale and Selyn were also able to promote upcoming designer talent for the creation of another bag: the “Sandra” clapping bag. Students from the London College of Fashion designed this appealing product in which sustainability, transparency and ethical production came together, powered by collaboration and technology.
The successes of these projects sparked the interest of the Dutch embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka. A project began in which it was shown that transparency can even be extended to furniture: old furniture was recycled, redecorated with fabrics from Selyn, and made traceable by the PaperTale technology. With the vision of Nicole van der Velden, interior architect at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Colombo office of the embassy was reimagined with this furniture.
Touching upon the themes of sustainability, decolonisation, redistribution of power, and technological advancement, the project serves as an example of how collaboration can connect the past and the future.
Positive change is possible. Let’s make it happen together.