The Khmu ethnic group is the largest indigenous population in northern Laos, and is among the world’s most enduring cultures.
The Nature Bag was traditionally used to carry a day’s harvest. The design has been passed down for generations, but cheap plastic import bags from China nearly decimated the craft. The Nature Bag project has saved the ancient Khmu craft and provided economic opportunities for these remote, isolated tribes. The knowledge and skill used in the bag’s craftsmanship rests exclusively with the Khmu.
Khmu artisans enjoy working from home while nurturing their children and preserving traditional social interaction within their villages.
You support Khmu communities when you buy Nature Bag products, made by hand in their villages and shared with the world through the JungleVine® Foundation.
Beautiful, sustainable Nature Bags are an engineering marvel, stretchy and strong, capable of carrying large volumes without crushing.
Indigenous Khmu artisans gather JungleVine® (Islobata phaseoloides) from the forests around their villages, strip the pulp from the fibers, spin them by hand and tie them into bags. From vine to crafting, it takes about two weeks to create each piece.
JungleVine® grows without cultivation, irrigation, or chemicals. It improves the soil where it grows and purifies the air, making it beneficial to the planet at large.
Organic vegan JungleVine® supplies the base material for Khmu artisans to create Nature Bags, the most ecofriendly bags on Earth. It is a product that can provide an entire people—the Khmu—with a sustainable livelihood.
The JungleVine® Foundation’s mission is to connect remote isolated tribal communities with the global market by promoting their natural fiber handicrafts. Our work reduces poverty in rural Laos, preserves an ancient craft, and mitigates global warming through the promotion of organic vegan JungleVine® fiber.
Meet the Khmu Artisans who create Nature Bags
Learn about Nature Bag's History and Origins
Watch Nature Bag Videos
Learn about the JungleVine® Research Retreat
Find additional stories and news in our Blog and on Our Wall
Discover more about the Khmu culture at Professor Damrong Tayanin's page.
Did you know that U.S. President Barack Obama visited Laos in 2016, and was the first U.S. President in history to do so? We've got some fascinating inside coverage of his visit on these pages:
Obama to Visit Laos
Obama's Visit to Luang Prabang
Unique Perspective on Obama's Visit
Learn about other organizations making a difference in Laos.
If you are fascinated with Laos and Khmu culture like we are, check out Somsy Camvan's captivating historical fiction novels The American Ghost, Other Side of Mekong, and Blanket Coffin.