Wearing the Earth
All images courtesy of AMMA.
‘Amma’ means ‘mother’ in Tamil and Sinhala, the two languages spoken in Sri Lanka. AMMA is a social enterprise located in Sri Lanka’s growing highlands and tea estates. At its heart it aims to dismantle fast fashion and provide an alternative approach to the fashion and textile industry while employing some of the most vulnerable within the community. AMMA seeks to revitalise local traditions through weaving while also transforming food waste and plants into non-toxic dyes, creating a collection of zero waste garments. AMMA employs local mothers living on Sri Lanka’s rural tea estates to take the lead in bringing these beautiful products to life.
Kogila is just one cherished member of the team of mothers at AMMA who is working to create products coaxed from renewable sources. After her marriage at age 20 she was in debt to three different loans. She was desperate for a job but was unable to find safe day care for her child. When she discovered a protected childcare centre started by Child Action Lanka, she was introduced to the AMMA team. She has been a part of the team since May 2018 which has given her the chance to pay back her loans, she says “I have a new spirit and strength to my life."
AMMA delights in the fact there is a narrative behind each garment. A big part of each product’s story comes from AMMA’s process of dyeing. 100% of AMMA’s fabrics are dyed using plants, food waste and flowers. Onion skins, pomegranates and turmeric are just some of the resources AMMA collects from local restaurants and hotels to transform into stunning colours. This organic method diminishes the amount of toxic deposit being dumped into fresh water sources while also encouraging AMMA to thrive in its local community through collaborations with other local businesses.
AMMA’s new collection launches this month and all profits will go back into funding the organisation. You can find products as well as AMMA’s guide to natural dyeing at www.ammasrilanka.com
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I loved watching this video about how you use natural products to dye your cloth. I cannot wait to come back to see you all again.