Here are my top recommendations for stores that support exceptional Sri Lankan design and/or artisanal textile and craft production in Sri Lanka, starting with DFSD’s social enterprise partners Urban Island and Fashion Market Lanka.
Sri Lankan design at its finest is available at Urban Island.
This comprises gift items, textiles, and ceramics with the Urban Island brand, as well as a carefully curated selection of regional businesses, all with a contemporary tropical look.
Though Urban Island was founded in 2013 to promote handcrafted goods made by artisans in Northern Clothing Brand in Sri Lanka, it only recently launched its main store in Colombo.
It is also certified as fair trade.
What I Love: Urban Island’s constantly-evolving homeware line, which brilliantly blends the talents of talented designers and craftspeople, is beautiful.
FMLK, a sister company of Urban Island, just debuted a stunning new location. I
t offers a lovely selection of handcrafted saris in addition to a sizable collection of clothes from upcoming Sri Lankan designers, with new things being introduced on a regular basis.
The Fashion Market team is led by up-and-coming young designer Isuru Liyanage.
What I Love: Clothes with traditional Sri Lankan patterns and handicrafts incorporated into contemporary silhouettes.
A wide variety of “designed and created in Sri Lanka” products, including tableware, sarongs, clothes, and gift items, are available at Barefoot.
Sri Lanka, the resurrection of handloom and craft is without a doubt led by Barefoot.
What I Love: Barbara Sansoni’s iconic designs, a treasure of the country.
Selyn Handlooms manufactures and distributes handwoven cotton apparel, household goods, toys, tablecloths, and bedding.
Over 1000 talented weavers are employed by Selyn, which also practises fair trade and strives to produce zero waste.
Selyna Peris, who has succeeded her mother Sandra in running the business on a day-to-day basis, is a pioneer in promoting heritage craft and sustainable fashion.
What I Love: Visiting Selyn’s weaving studio in Kurunegala and admiring their amazing work.
The best destination to find stylish, well-made clothing and accessories with a European sense is L’Atelier Touche.
The exclusive L’Atelier Touche line, created in Sri Lanka by its creators Catherine Obrenovic and Heidy Rampinelli, is just stunning.
What I Love: The service at this chic store is exceptional, making it a destination in and of itself.
6.THE DESIGN COLLECTIVE
The Design Collective features designers of clothing and jewellery, largely from Sri Lanka but also from other countries in the area.
The Design Collective, which is tastefully housed in a historic colonial structure, is proof of the skill and diversity of the regional design scene.
What I enjoy most is speaking with Shahili Gomes, the founder of Design Collective, whose enthusiasm for excellent design is contagious.
The distinctive black and white colour scheme and minimalist design of Paradise Road’s home décor, giftware, and dinnerware make them easily recognisable.
The Paradise Road group, which was founded in 1987 by design legend Shanth Fernando, today includes retail stores, boutique hotels, an art gallery, and a restaurant.
PR, a fashion and accessories company run by daughter Annika Fernando, is the newest acquisition.
In addition to Sri Lankan and local designers, PR also has its own brand, Maus.
What I adore: gorgeous and useful hand-painted ceremics from Paradise Road.
Sonali is a talented artist who uses batik to make stunning works of wearable art (a heritage craft in Sri Lanka).
She stands out for her poetic patterns, stunning colour palette, and exquisitely cut and polished clothing.
I love everything, in short. The artwork of Sonali is ageless. Stunning and enjoyable to wear.
Sarees, apparel, and accessories by Buddhi Batiks come in a brilliant rainbow of colours.
It is a family-run workshop that has been in operation since 1970.
A big part of its mission is to pass on traditional crafts to the next generation of artists.
The daughter of founders Buddhi and Ranasiri and creative director Dashi Keerthisena is a strong proponent of ethical fashion.
What I Love: The gorgeous colour scheme of Buddi is delightful.
The fine craftsmanship, weaving, and textures are celebrated in this lovely clothing and accessory boutique.
We have included Rithihi in our Sri Lanka guide even though a large portion of her “wearable art” comes from India because she frequently showcases and champions the finest in Sri Lankan handicraft.
What I Love- We salute Valli Mohideen, the proprietor of Rithihi, for her long-standing support of natural and sustainable dye, her encouragement of excellent design, and her perfect sense of style.
Sri Lanka, a centre for the world’s textile industry, generates a huge volume of garments for export.
In an effort to create a better, more environmentally friendly fashion business in Sri Lanka, many of the Clothing Brand in Sri Lanka listed below address both of these problems by prioritising fair wages and minimal waste in their production methods.
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