Meet The Makers
LIFE IN A SQUATTER SETTLEMENT
Leaving their rural areas in search of a better life, many people and families find themselves in Port Moresby unable to afford the hugely inflated cost of life in this city. The squatter settlements are the only alternative for survival, and they find themselves unable to access basic needs such as health care and education for their children.
There is always a concern for safety as part of living in a squatter settlement. People from different backgrounds and provinces living in one area sometimes creates tensions. Sadly, many women are the victims of physical, emotional and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea.
By giving women an opportunity to find economic independence through their traditional craft, Project Two Mile aims to uplift not only the women’s lives, but to keep the ancient technique of weaving alive.
We are now also working with women from remote areas such as the Mekeo district in the Central Province, the Kamnibit women from Angoram District in the East Sepik Province, Telefomin district in the Western Province and other remote villages in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, so that they generate income and can remain in their villages.
HOW WE WORK
The core focus of Project Two Mile is providing the artisan weavers with the means for better access to health, education and help with their day-to-day needs. The rewards are multifaceted.
After starting with a collective of 5 women, Project Two Mile now supports over 100 weavers and has an ongoing commitment to educate any woman who wants to learn this ancient craft and join the project to find a meaningful way to earn a living.
Yarn is purchased and bought in Australia. It is then shipped to Port Moresby, where our lead person on the ground collects and dispatches the yarn to all the weavers.
To keep the process as simple as possible for the women, whose lives can be impossibly complicated and tenuous, the weavers get enough yarn to complete one bilum bag at a time. It takes up to 5 weeks to complete one bag.
ANCIENT CRAFT FOR A MODERN WORLD
We have come a long way in a very short time. Learning how to work with high-end fashion commodity businesses in a modern world is not for the faint hearted!
Quality is our first cornerstone. Finishes are so important. We train all our weavers to work to the highest standards.
We meticulously consider colours, textures and symmetry and are always working to discover new ways to integrate these ancient techniques with the highest appreciation of beauty and harmony.
Bilum patterns tell a story from the daily lives of the women who weave them. Passed down from generation to generation, they are steeped in tradition and yet each weaver creates their unique interpretation. So much has been lost in the fast paced acceleration of technology and globalisation. We are proud to have the voice of our ancient culture still speaking to the hearts of those who wear our bilums.