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Selyn, Colombo

4.4
#15 of 52 in Shopping in Colombo
Selyn is Sri Lanka's only Fairtrade guaranteed Handloom Company that engages the traditional Sri Lankan community of handloom weavers in bringing to you products made of 100% cotton and infinite measures of skill and devotion. We weave cotton fabrics that are transformed into toys, children’s accessories, educational and interactive toys, home accessories, household textiles and linens, garments, jewellery and many other products. These products go into the local and export markets and can be found within Sri Lanka, the European Union, the US and parts of Asia. Founded in 1991 by Sandra Wanduragala, we started work with 15 women in the village of Wanduragala in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka. Joined shortly thereafter by her brother, Hilary Wanduragala, Selyn now has around 1000 members within its organisation.

The tradition of the loom takes its roots at the very inception of Sri Lankan history. Today the industry faces decline due to various reasons ranging from the lack of skilled expertise, uncompetitive market prices, out-dated designs and lack of infrastructure and technology. Selyn takes on this challenge to revive our heritage and extend its benefits to our rural women and men. Our fundamental values stems from the very foundation of our organization. We are primarily committed to quality and to innovative design. Our dye house gives you all the colours of a rainbow and at our handloom workshops we weave a myriad of fabrics, which become home textiles, garments and toys. Our local showrooms also house a beautiful variety of handicrafts inspired by Sri Lanka's traditional industries and modified to suit modern tastes and trends.

Throughout this entire process of colour and design, we are also strongly committed to our people. Ninety five per cent of those in our organisations are women. Most of them have been unable to continue work in the mainstream job market due to various reasons; marriage, the woman’s traditional role as a housewife, having to babysit young children or grandchildren, helping their husbands in paddy cultivation and other such cultural constraints and stereotypes. Our organization is structured taking into account this reality. We own and operate 5 central production houses. Nearly 200 individuals work from their own homes. Further to this and uniquely, we helped establish around 20 independent entrepreneurs who employ between 20-35 workers in their own workshops.

In addition to assistance on infrastructure, technical aspects and a guaranteed flow of work, our members can use services such as health camps and day care center facilities, the latter encouraging younger women to work. They are also able to build their capacities by participating in life skills and leadership and entrepreneurship development programs. The life skills programs range from how to deal with pertinent social issues such as domestic abuse, alcoholism, women’s health and balancing their work with their personal lives. The leadership and entrepreneurship programs are specifically designed for selected leaders to think outside the box and include sessions on business skills and most importantly on how to identify and maximise on opportunities around them. We hope not only to empower them financially but also create a way of life within which they are comfortable.

Selyn is more than just a Handloom company; we are a Sri Lankan Community.
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Selyn Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
61 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This is the place to go for Sri Lankan handicrafts. Products are reasonably priced and of good quality. a wide range of clothing, homeware and children's toys are available.  more »
  • Lovely place to buy locally made gifts: cloth, children's toys, clothes, random items! Sensible prices, well made and different. Worth a visit.  more »
Google
  • Love the things you get here. They have cusion covers, table runners, gift items and a whole lot more. Their quality is fantastic and the people are very helpful. They have alot of hand woven items.
  • Very helpful staff, and nice atmosphere of the shop. The shop sells very pretty pieces that are fairly well priced and very ethical. You can find handloom products of all sizes, from small accessories and toys to clothes and more.
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