At Kalinko, we understand that sustainability is an intricate balance between three factors: environmental, social and economical.
As a brand, it's very difficult to satisfy all aspects of sustainability together. But what we can do is focus on the areas where we can really make an impact, and do our best in the areas where it is harder. For Kalinko, sustainability can't yet begin and end with carbon footprints and plastic pollution. It begins with supporting sustainable basic human needs, and doesn't end; we are constantly learning, improving, looking for ways to achieve a balance of all three corners of sustainability.
Here is our current position. We will keep you updated as this develops.
Kalinko’s makers are small groups working on a cottage-industry scale. This enables them to run their families and homes alongside their work. Our main motivation is to ensure that they are best placed, socially and economically, to prosper as the country develops. We work closely with them to raise the quality of their products to meet the demands of the high-end international market. We provide them with tools and materials where required and pay upfront for 50% of every order. We pay above market rate and never, ever squeeze our suppliers on price. Our mission is to place more orders with more people. In doing so, we aim to help our makers build sustainable businesses and to preserve their craft for future generations.
We work as far as we can with natural materials grown locally in Burma. Rattan grows voraciously in the northern rainforests, regrows rapidly once harvested and is totally biodegradable. We use local hardwoods and reclaimed wood where possible and our glass is all recycled from old bottles. Our marble products are made in a town called Marble, just metres from the mountain it comes from, and are usually made from smaller unused pieces from the wider marble trade. The brass work is intrinsically sustainable, being made of recycled metal scrap, and our cotton is local or imported by road from neighbouring India in instances where the quality needs to be higher than what we have available in the country.
Our makers work with techniques honed over generations which have been proven to stand the test of time. For example, working rattan by hand enables a maker to pull the vine as tight as possible without breaking it, a nuance which cannot be gauged by a machine. We use slow, steady techniques which result in strong, long-lasting products.
We ship by ocean freight rather than air and we only ever ship full containers. Our packaging is totally biodegradable and recyclable, and we minimise excess as far as possible in all parts of the business.
Kalinko products are designed to be timeless. They sit comfortably both in a contemporary space or a period building. They will last and can be passed down through generations. We encourage people to buy once and buy well.