Social engagement – Doitung

– Going with the flow – 

 

Probably as everyone else during vacation, I was searching for gifts to offer my friend back home.  And of course,  I wanted something unique, something personal, related to the country and its people. I like my gifts to say something, tell a story. But finding nice and unique things is sometimes just hard.

My gift-tour in Bangkok’s night market, recommended by every tourist guide, turned out to be a fiasco. And we didn’t want to wast the the little amount of time we had left in Bangkok with more and more sterile souvenir shops.

In the next day, we simply went for our favorite ritual : drinking a coffee while watching people passing by, living their lives. Just that.
And we walked in a Cafe called “Doitung”. The cafe was nice, clean, well designed, but above all it had a bunch of really nicely designed objects to sell (mostly house ware at that point).

The designs were a very interesting balance of elegant minimalism and tribal patterns, including some very figurative references to the hmongs ! “Amazing finds” – I just thought!

Postcards and greeting cards made of Doitung’s Mulberry Paper – very soft and resilient at the same time

Accompagnied prospects and flyers explained that Doitung Cafe was a part of a bigger social project started by the Mother queen herself, which aims to help ethnic minorities in the former Golden Triangle gaining a better standard of life.

Moved by their founding story and impressed by the great design of the products, I found what would be a perfect gift for my friend back home.

After being told that  Doitung had a Lifestyle shop in Bangkok, at Siam Discovery Center, we couldn’t wait to get there.

The shop itself came with hundreds of amazing products ranging from house ware, to jewellery to clothing and stationary items. All hand-made, all designed and crafted with great care. And it all felt fair.

Below are some of my everyday pouches. The motives are inspired by Northern Thai tribes, printed on soft canvas. I’m having them for 2 years now and due to their resilient design, it doesn’t feel like they’re washed out, although I put them many times in the washing machine.

I also found a great silver bracelet and ear-rings. The designs are again pretty minimalistic, well balanced and offered these unique imperfections that one can only find in handmade products.
Look at that !

Doitung does real design, which is quite rare when it comes to brands producing heritage/cultural influenced products. These are often poorly designed and cliche. Instead, the brand does not only produce aesthetically pleasing looking items, but make also stunning design. Behind all, there is a real sense of trying to infuse as much elegance as possible.

I like the pretty well digested Scandinavian influences and finely crafted objects. The potteries are truly amazing, great visual balance, very practical. Some of their stuff is cute, some is just pure and elegant.

I can’t neglect that Doitung is one of my favourite brands ever, being a holistic social project overall. People involved in the project are provided with education and assistance to create their own economic and social foundation.

Impressing and environement-friendly: degradable flower pots using vetiver grass and clay

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