NEST is dedicated to the inherent principles of social enterprise; that the maintenance of cultural heritage and indigenous craft is not mutually exclusive to successful for-profit models.
SAHALANDY is the epitome of such an enterprise; composed of the female Silkies of Madagascar who hand-weave the native raw silk of their country to preserve their heritage, protect the environment, and provide sustainable livelihood for their families.
Spearheaded by Natalie Mundy and Daniel Branch, who founded SAHALANDY in 2010 while serving as Peace Corps volunteers, the potential of their project is unlimited. The silkies are able to transform their ontological understanding of themselves, taking control of their livelihood through enhanced business skills and the beautiful crafts they produce. They are now able provide for their families and improve the lot of their community at large.
Thus, silk is not merely limited to a tradition that is passed down through generations, but also serves as a lifeline that supports and maintains community bonds. Raw silk from Madagascar is considered cruelty free, or “peace silk” due to the humane treatment of the worms. Over twenty individual hands collect the cocoons, spin, dye, and weave, using traditional and time-honored techniques.
“One silk strand is strong, but when many are woven together they are stronger” – Malagasy proverb
More information on SAHALANDY can be found here