Collective Humanity is a community-based social enterprise empowering socially and economically underserved women as they rise above poverty. It is named as a reminder of our shared commonalities as human beings. Artisan women, whose ages range from 20s to 50s, are free to work from home in open air studios.

Many of these women grew up during the Cambodian Civil War and subsequent genocide and thus did not have opportunities for a formal education. Collective Humanity provides this and more, including skills and household finance training, community development workshops, and healthcare programs. It also offers access to alternative healers for those who have experienced trauma.

To create our reusable straws, the bamboo is first sourced locally — bamboo is a sustainable resource growing wild in Southeast Asia and easily regenerating. The bamboo is dried and then shaved down, creating a smooth straw from the inside of the bamboo plant. Artisans cut the bamboo and then set it to dry in the sun. Next, they will cut it down to the appropriate size and smooth it out to finish the product. They are practicing a technique that has been used in Cambodia for centuries.

Each throw is eco-consciously made with 100 percent cotton and natural dyes featuring ingredients sourced from the land around the studio. To heat the kiln, they will use rice husks, which would otherwise be discarded. Once harvested, the materials are collected and placed in a ceramic bin for fermentation. After the color is ready, the cotton materials are placed in the dye over the heated kiln. The cotton is dyed, and then any remaining husks are spread out as fertilizer to harvest additional materials. The looms are prepared for weaving, a rare art form that is traced back to a rich history in Cambodia. This is also a generations-old tradition. The dyeing process takes approximately two to four days, and weaving can take up to two weeks.

Flexible schedules enable them to earn an income and simultaneously balance their family responsibilities. Within the village, there is a large sense of community based on trust and transparency. Collective Humanity supports full-time educational access for artisans’ children and has created a community emergency fund, managed in full by the artisans. Other programs include recycling education programs and community cleanup days that help reduce waste and environmental hazards.

Are you interested in learning more about this group and their product offering? Please email us at for details and contact information.