I made a whirlwind trip to Vietnam last week. I found some amazing new products whilst visiting a trade fair in Hanoi where I met some amazing Hmong ladies from the north of Vietnam.
The Hmong culture is expressed through the growing and harvesting of hemp. The bark of the hemp plant is stripped, twined, dyed using plants and then woven into clothes and bags before delicately embroidering. Without this skill the Hmong would not have clothes to wear. Hemp also has a spiritual association. Each person sets aside a special set of clothing for their burial, believing that the hemp fibre can guide their souls in the afterlife search to find their ancestors.
After a crazy 2 days in Hanoi I made a trip to Hoi An to visit our lantern supplier. It feels like coming home staying in Hoi An, and I never tire of walking the magical streets of the old town.