Capacity Building
10 Oct 2022

Developing and innovating Sri Lankan craft for export

On the 15 October 2022 between 9.00am and 12.30pm (IST – Colombo time) the workshop “Next generation of Sri Lankan designers – Developing and innovating Sri Lankan craft for export” took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The event was a continuation of the recent 2022 research and mapping of the “Handloom, Batik & Dumbara Fashion Industry in Sri Lanka” prepared by Robert Meeder, coordinated and facilitated by the Cultural Relations Platform for the EU Delegation in Sri Lanka.

The workshop featured presentations from founders of Europe’s leading craft platform XTANT and high level speakers, namely Andrea Brocca, the world’s youngest couture designer and Gourab Ganguli, a talented fashion photographer and documentary film-maker from India. Brocca discussed the need of creating higher quality and higher value products, while Ganguli addressed story telling, competition and exposition in Europe. Pioneering Indian fashion designer Chinar Farooqui from Injiri also joined the discussion and shared her journey from local craft to global presence and the importance of cross regional collaboration between India and Sri Lanka.

During the workshop participants explored the potential of craft, understood the development of craft for export and identified opportunities and local partners to support and collaborate with. The event brought together 40 young creatives working in the craft sector and was a combination of live digital sharing sessions from EU experts and group discussions. The training aimed to promote understanding of the craft and contemporary design for export, identify skills, design and craft opportunities within own network and explore how to add and create higher value through design intervention.

The conference took place in the afternoon after the training and was livestreamed on the EU Delegation in Sri Lanka’s YouTube channel. Key Sri Lankan industry representatives presented on various topics facing the industry at large. There was also an additional area of exploring what support is needed from the EU industry and thoughts on Sri Lanka, trends in investment and development towards craft, textiles and importing to EU.  

Many articles have been published about workshop by Sri Lankan media:

Weekend FT, 
first and only national daily business paper.

CeylonToday, an interactive newspaper encompassing cultural and political interviews.

Sunday Observer, oldest and most circulated weekly English-language newspaper in Sri Lanka.

The Island, a daily English-language newspaper in Sri Lanka.

Eyeview, the Sri Lankan news portal about international business trends and local industry insights.

Colombo Gazette, leading news and entertainment website in Sri Lanka.

Daily Mirror (printed), Sri Lanka’s number one English daily newspaper.

Daily Thinakaran (printed), a daily Tamil newspaper in Sri Lanka.

The Sunday Morning (printed), Sri Lanka’s newest English newspaper.

All of the mentioned media outlets have highlighted the event, the development of innovating craft for export, the couture designer Andrea Brocca and the fashion filmmaker Gourab Ganguli.

Our partners for this project

The Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka

Official relations between the EU and Sri Lanka date back to 1975 when the European Commission and the Government of Sri Lanka concluded a Commercial Cooperation Agreement. The EU opened a Delegation Office in Colombo in 1995.  Today relations between the EU and Sri Lanka are governed by a comprehensive Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development which came into force in April 1995.  The Cooperation Agreement aims to enhance and develop the various aspects of cooperation between the EU and Sri Lanka through dialogue and partnership. Cooperation is based on respect for democratic principles and human rights.

More information is available on the delegation’s Official Website, Twitter and Facebook.