Two of Chiang Mai’s women eco warriors collaborate
Two of Chiang Mai’s women-eco-warriors, Antoinette Jackson from SuperBees Wax Wraps and Lamorna Cheesman from Studio Naenna have joined forces and friendship to collaborate on an environmentally wonderful project.
Lamorna has been living in Thailand all her life, having grown up here. Her mother, Patricia Cheesman is a renowned textile expert and collector who began the family company, Studio Naenna by working with village women to create natural and hand dyed textiles. Lamorna has been running the company business for a number of years now, bringing her fashion expertise into the mix and creating exquisite pieces of slow fashion which are sold worldwide.
Antoinette met Lamorna many years ago when she commissioned Lamorna to make her wedding dress. “Studio Naenna is one of the most authentic, sustainable businesses I know,” said Antoinette of her friend’s business. “We just wanted to do something together as we approach our businesses the same way. So I provided Lamorna with the organic cotton which she then made into beautiful tie-dye with natural indigo and ebony berry dye. We then take it back and wax it.”
Antoinette’s SuperBees Wax Wraps was founded in 2016 when Antoinette learned that her grandmother used to make homemade beeswax wraps to wrap her food in. Being a passionate environmentalist who had long been frustrated with the prolific use of plastic, Antoinette began experimenting with the technique and would go to Warorot market to buy material which she would bring home to test, eventually perfecting her craft and designs for the SuperBees Wax Wraps. At the end of 2016 she took her beeswax wraps to Panyaden School where her children were studying to the school fair where they sold out.
Following that initial burst of success, Antoinette produced a video featuring her beeswax wraps which went viral, reaching over one million people within days. The orders began to pour in and her business exploded. Today she hires 30 local village women, most with little to no education, paying them 20% above living wages recommended by the Fair Trade Foundation. She also donates 20% of all profits to local and global charities. Many of her workers have also been promoted to managerial positions, their wages reflecting their newfound responsibilities.
“It’s nice to work with your friends,” said Antoinette of her collaboration. “Especially when we both have the same ideals and principles.”
“Antoinette always inspired me and we always talked about how to reduce waste within our household,” said Lamorna. “I met her before she started her business and when mshe told me about her wrap idea, I thought it was one of the best product ideas I had heard. It is an easy starting point for many people to begin their zero waste journey.”
“Instead of wrapping your food in chemical-laden plastic, using beeswax wraps just makes sense. It is infused with anti-bacterial qualities – bees wax itself as well as coconut oil and tree resins – and you can wash it and reuse it again and again. Our staff get good wages, they are given fair working hours, profit sharing and benefits. Lamorna believes in the same things and treats her staff similarly.”
You can buy this special collection of SuperBees indigo wrap at Studio Naenna on Soi 1 (post COVID-19) or simply go to www.superbee.me and order it there!