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Eco Practices

Ecological Practices
 At Baskets of Cambodia, we care about environmental sustainability:
At Baskets of Cambodia, we abide by the firm belief that running an eco-friendly business is conducive of a successful and prosperous business. We depend on the continual re-growth of the “la peuk” that our baskets are composed of. We depend on the good health and well being of the weavers to have a successful operation. We depend on the continual supply of packing materials to ship our product from Cambodia to the United States For these necessities to be maintained, we believe in nurturing the people and environments that make our business possible. Ultimately, we constantly look for new ways to improve our practices for the basic sake of good environmental stewardship. All of our products are made from organic grasses, free of any herbicide or pesticide treatment. We make a point to ensure that our product has a low impact on the surrounding environment and people connected to it. Below is an overview of our Operation Practices at Baskets of Cambodia, and what we are doing as a business to improve our environmental relationship.


• Our baskets are made from a fast growing reed grass called “la peuk.” This particular grass grows through out Cambodia. Because we believe in sustainable harvest, we leave enough of the natural grass to ensure it’s return the following year, but also take enough to help manage the land it’s growing on.

• The raw materials are all organic, free of pesticides and herbicides.

• None of BOC raw materials are subject to artificial irrigation instead, they depend completely on the seasonal rains.

• When dying the grass reed for our purses, we filter all runoff wtare so this does not go into the local river systems.  We do the best we can to source natural non-toxic dyes, currently produced in Thailand.

• In 2005 BOC stopped using all Styrofoam products at any events we sponsor or in our work locations. That same year we stopped using all personal water bottles. We now relay on large 5 gallon containers of water and the use of reusable cups.

• The United States BOC shipping operation makes a point to predominantly rely on reused boxes and packing materials when sending out products. Boxes that are not suitable for reuse are recycled. Additionally in the office, we have a strong recycling program for the paper and plastics that we do consume.

• Our product itself is woven with strength to last a lifetime, resulting in less waste and garbage and ultimately a smaller carbon footprint.


• Most of BOC basketry is transported by bicycle before it is actually packed to be shipped overseas.

• Though shipping by air would be the quickest means of transporting our merchandise, at BOC we instead fill 40’ containers and ship overseas. While not a 100%  carbon neutral method, this significantly reduces its carbon footprint caused from product transportation.

• Many of our weavers commute to work by bicycles or small motorbikes, and in general only travel a small distance to reach Baskets of Cambodia operations. The longest commutes are in our basketry regions where occasionally workers will commute by bicycle or moto up to 12 miles each way, but typically mush less.

• The designs themselves are not only unique in style and appearance, but are also designed to maximize shipping space. Our baskets are all 100% nested to fit inside of one another or stack perfectly inside of one another.

Product Disposal:

Prior to Baskets of Cambodia purchasing the weaving Facility, manufacturers would often not take precautions when disposing of dye. Often, the non-toxic dyes would be dumped and allowed to seep into the soil. When BOC stepped in, we sought out assistance from the German Development Agency, GTZ, who helped to train and install new techniques for proper waster disposal. BOC has even further developed GTZ’s initial system, by utilizing an above ground charcoal filter system to filter the dyes and contain waste material.


Developing Goals:

Though we were a founding member of fair trade practices in Cambodia,  working then with a local Menonite group, Baskets of Cambodia is not currently a member of any fair trade organization and has instead chosen to promote transparency on behalf of all workers.  It is easy to know the wages for any company in the United States. Why is it not as easy within the claims of fair trade? We should be equally free to provide that information for so called 'fair trade' workers overseas, as that would be a fair way to market on their behalf.   Companies often do not want to provide this information because they are afraid it may give competitors a edge to compete or poach workers or product, or in some cases becauses the wages may not live up to standards even locally. We believe the best approach is a proactive one - doing what is necessary to keep loyal workers - by paying them market wages and competing up front on this basis. We just hope we treat them well enough that we are always their first choce.  Also the fairest situation is the one that is most transparent as that provides the truest incentive for fair trade practices.

Fair Trade Practices:

We have been upholding (and encouraging others to uphold) Fair Trade principles since we began in 1996, well before 'fair trade' was well known. We constantly strive towards creating long lasting local economies with the help of our ideas and practices. Some principles that we continue to uphold:

• Transparency in all aspects of our business: We are truly an open book. The places our products are manufactured are open to any visitors that wish to visit the facilities. If you don't find what you are looking for on our website (or in person), please call or email us. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.  

• A decent wage: Our workers are paid a minimum of $2.50 per day, twice the going rate for the most marginal of crafts. In addition we provide various benefits to employees with special needs.

• Safe and open working conditions: As a Fair Trade Member, humanitarians, and environmental stewards, we are committed to the safety of the people who work with us, as well as the environment our production effects.

• Health insurance - We subsidize emergency health care for emergencies and are currently investigating the government sponsored health care programs for all those who work with us.

• Dental Hygiene education and care: Periodic classes on the importance of dental hygienge are conducted with the help of local dentists.

• Interest-free loans for emergencies .

• Paid time off for full time employees as well as company vacations. BOC honors all government holidays- up to 25 days per year.


UPDATE Spring 2024:  BOC basketry is risen to new heights and new markets as all our baskets have become well known for their design, quality and in many cases their durability. Post covid we have suffered as many in the fashion industry, because we continued to produce as all sales declined across many fashion outlets during Covid.  Our current selection is great.  Quality and styles are all still available and new styles will be coming to the market in the Winter of 2025!  
A true indicator of success is knowing how long our purses are used and appreciated. People report receiving daily compliments for years as they come back to try out new styles or color patterns.