It all started with an idea...
The first Rice & Carry bag was made in 2012, to tackle two issues in Sri Lanka:
1) growing amount of plastic waste
2) lack of job opportunities for women
In the beginning, many people could not imagine that anyone would want to buy a bag made from trash.
But we proved them wrong.
Our first bag - made from re-used rice bags
upcycle more than 60,000 rice bags and spice sacks, and 120,000 plastic bottles per year
and employ 30 women from rural villages for fair wages.
We are proud to say that over the years, we have transformed into a reputable fair trade social enterprise, specialized in recycling and manufacturing products from waste materials.
We seek to improve the livelihoods of the communities on Sri Lanka's East coast.
Offer local solutions to the global waste crisis
Create steady jobs for women from rural areas
Promote Fair Trade principles locally and globally
GUARANTEED FAIR TRADE
Lanka Upcycles is a fully approved member of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). All our products are made according to the 10 Fair Trade principles.
1) OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISADVANTAGED PRODUCERS
Besides our 25 employed craftswomen, we work with small family businesses and women’s associations in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.
3) FAIR TRADING PRACTICES
Solidarity, trust and mutual respect are our core values, and how we build relationships with business partners in particular.
5) NO CHILD LABOUR AND FORCED LABOUR
Our suppliers are monitored regularly, to make sure that no child labour or forced labour is involved.
7) GOOD WORKING CONDITIONS
The Rice & Carry manufactory is closed on Sundays and public holidays. On International Women’s Day, everybody is on paid leave.
9) PROMOTE FAIR TRADE
We raise awareness about the aim and principles of Fair Trade and comply to honest advertising and marketing.
2) TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
We are transparent about our production process. Visit our manufactory in Komari and have a look behind the scenes.
4) FAIR PAYMENT
We ensure that all our employees get a monthly income above the national minimum wage and we contribute to a pension fund.
6) NO DISCRIMINATION, GENDER EQUITY AND FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
We stand against any form of discrimination based on race, gender, religion or disability. More than 80% of our workers are female.
8) CAPACITY BUILDING
We particularly support women from rural areas to unfold their potential – and are proud to see them flourish into creative and skilled artisans.
10) RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Environmental protection lies at the heart of our business. We recycle, make products from waste materials and educate about environmental challenges.
We are proud to have received multiple awards for our work.
Environmental Impact Award