Around the world, there are increasing expectations for businesses to operate responsibly and sustainably – and at the heart of this is respect for human rights, especially the rights of children and women.

Vietnam is one of the countries that is integrating more and more deeply into the global economy, providing goods to consumers around the world through the global supply chain. Along with that, the production and business segment that creates social impact is also growing strongly and receiving a lot of attention from the government. While economic growth is important for job creation, infrastructure development and poverty reduction, it can pose challenges for promoting, protecting and implementing human rights, gender equality, especially in mountainous areas inhabited by many minority groups – where women have little voice in their own communities.

The garment industry is one of Vietnam’s most important industries, accounting for nearly 20% of total export turnover and creating jobs for about 2.5 million people, the majority of whom are women. In particular, the textile and garment crafts branch has a lot of potential but has not been strongly exploited. In localities where minority communities live, there exist many types of unique and quality handicraft production that have cultural identity and are environmentally friendly, but the output is limited. Meanwhile, the indigenous labor source is very abundant and has the potential to develop export-oriented production scale, especially handicraft products with unique cultural identities. 

The Issue

Making brocade panels requires a lot of time and effort. If it does not bring economic value, ethnic minorities will have to find other localities and do higher-paying jobs. such as working as a worker in factories, working as a room attendant at hotels, homestays and sometimes even illegal jobs.

If there is no change, traditional handloom weaving will gradually disappear as local artisans become fewer and fewer and the local younger generation does not pay much attention to preserving the traditional craft.

Each brocade contains the unique cultural features of each ethnic group and each region, it represents the identity of that nation and contains many lessons from the previous generation for the next generation. Losing the weaving profession, the locality may lose cultural values that can bring high economic value to the people and locality.

Affected Parties

Ethnic minorities cannot find outlets for local handicraft products. Localities are at risk of losing their own identity if they want to develop tourism and economic cooperation. Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups, the loss of each ethnic group’s cultural identity will be a great loss in Vietnamese culture.

How serious is this?

Due to the influence of industrial products and the integration process, traditional brocade weaving of ethnic groups is at risk of extinction. Product quality and design cannot compete with textile products on the market. It is difficult to find a market for manufactured goods, and the lives of those who work in the profession face many difficulties… (Dien Bien Phu News)

This is the general situation of many brocade weaving villages in the Northwest.

Besides, in the past, people used to wear traditional costumes every day, but now due to changes in daily life, traditional costumes are only worn on holidays. In the past, everyone had a loom and weaved fabric and made clothes. But now, few people weave, mainly buying ready-made clothes to wear.

Most localities now have brocade nests, but the production output is only enough to serve tourists. In the remaining time, people have to focus on doing other things to make a living.


So what is the output for the handicraft products from ethnic minorities? 

What direction will they continue to maintain traditional brocade production?

Call to action

Chie was born in 2011 as one of the pioneering social enterprises in Vietnam aiming to preserve and promote the traditional weaving of ethnic minorities. 

Chie Ideas and Solutions

Chie Dupudupa aims to develop and expand its business model to create more positive impacts on society. In addition to business activities and links with highland cooperatives to sell traditional handicraft products, we will build more factories in Mai Chau to create more jobs for local women. . 

This will be the facility to produce products according to sample designs, which will be sold at Chie’s retail stores. Besides, we are also a unit that produces on-demand garment orders, focusing on partners with the same business goals towards sustainable development. To continue the cultural story built over the past ten years, Chie will also accompany people in production areas with tourism potential to develop accommodation models and experience local life.

Value of the solution

In the long term, Chie hopes to create a livelihood circle for minority communities, where they can exploit cultural values, architecture, nature and traditional crafts to have a stable source of income. 

Chie wants to empower and limit gender-based violence, preserving craftsmanship and cultural identity, while promoting an environmentally friendly garment production model and creating a positive impact on the local community in particular and society in general.

Chie solution will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as:

  • No poverty (1)
  • Gender equality (5)
  • Decent work and Economic growth (8)
  • Reduce inequalities (10)
  • Responsible consumption and Production (12)
  • Climate action (13)
  • Life on land (15)