No picture of paradise is complete without a hammock.
For the Mlabri tribe in Thailand, however, the hammock is an especially integral figure in their picture of paradise.
For a community that has been devastated by deforestation and guerrilla warfare since the 1970s, the hammock is a potential vehicle to secure civil rights, sustain land use and achieve financial security.
That’s at least the hope for Iosef “Joe” Demin, founder of Yellow Leaf Hammocks. Joe’s Yellow Leaf story starts in Thailand when he came across a hammock in the jungle of Ko Lanta while traveling on the island. The encounter, he explains, was “love at first swing.”
He then was lead to the creators of the hammocks — members of the Mlabri tribe — who eventually explained their history and current economic and environmental struggle. Without a large demand for their hammocks, they resort to toxic slash and burn methods of subsidence farming.
Joe wanted to explore opportunities to help out the disenfranchised community and to help create a larger demand for their craft. He started Yellow Leaf with a hope to create a sustainable micro-economy that lifts the Mlabri tribe out of poverty, maintains their cultural identity, and eradicates their dependency on toxic farming methods.
Most importantly, Joe’s vision is holistic: In addition to enabling economic health, environmental stewardship, and cultural preservation, hammocks provide comfort, relaxation, and social awareness to the consumer.
Credit Image: Yellow Leaf Hammocks via Flickr
Check out Yellow Leaf Hammocks’ initiative on Kickstarter.