ASHI is the original idea of Takuya Yamase, the founder of Kumae. Though how to make Banana Paper is not Takuya’s original idea because it has already been made in Africa; but the changes in the process of making banana papers to adapt in the circumstances in Cambodia are the development among Takuya and every staff in Kumae.
One of the main purposes of making ASHI bags is to make original products that are made truly in Cambodia, to have Cambodians be proud of Handmade Products of Cambodia to the world from Siem Reap, the World Heritage Site; Angkor Wat is located at and as well in the hope that ASHI products would inspire Cambodian people that they are capable of doing and making new creative things; in spite of what happened during Khmer Rouge Regime (Pol Pot).
Until now, our tote bags and PC Cases’ fabrics are bought from the market. There is a risk when buying fabrics because buyers may not like what we choose. Another challenge is when a particular fabric is popular and it runs out of stock; we cannot buy more because the fabric design is updating every now and then.
It is hard to set up an online store when the stock quantity cannot be specified and the tailors themselves find it difficult to keep with the update of availability of each fabric design. Sometimes, an order has to be canceled because that particular fabric is not in stock anymore.
Banana Paper Post Cards made in Cambodia
Photo by Kumae
Due to those mentioned experiences, Takuya Yamase has decided that we should have our own fabric designs and customers can choose what we provide. With that reasons and solution have been said, our supportive graphic designer, Kitayama Yoshihiro; quickly works on it. Though, the cost of having our artworks printed on fabrics is triple; but we do believe that it is worth it; and it is our big step toward originality.