23 April 2012
William Ingram: Threads of Life
William Ingram has spent over 25 years in Asia developing small-scale business for traditional communities, first in the tourism sector and later in the traditional arts. He is co-founder and co-director of Threads of Life, a business that facilitates access for traditional weavers to a premium niche market characterized by cultural integrity and sustainable natural dyes. He is also a general manager of the YPBB Foundation (Yayasan Pecinta Budaya Bebali , the Foundation for Sustainable Culture and Livelihood) that supports weavers’ cooperative development across Indonesia. He seeks for both organizations to internalize any issues they seek to resolve in a partner community, turning away from a “development of” approach towards “development with” where shared challenges are problem-solved in a peer-to-peer context.
Threads of Life is a fair trade business that uses culture and conservation to alleviate poverty in rural Indonesia. The heirloom-quality textiles and baskets we commission are made with local materials and natural dyes. With the proceeds from the Threads of Life gallery, we help weavers to form independent cooperatives that manage their resources sustainably and maintain traditional culture. Started in 1998, Threads of Life now works with over 1000 weavers in more than 50 cooperatives and weavers’ groups on 11 islands across Indonesia.by