Priyakorn Thammaphutthasiri, founder of Raks Banrao Songkhla, tells us how she has added value to pha-kao-mah, Thai traditional cotton fabric.
Could you tell us about your company?
I was born in Songkhla in the South of Thailand, home of the local Koh Yo fabric. Founded in 2015, my company initially sold pha-kao-mah (Thai Sarong) and other products made from Thai Sarong, such as bags, clothes and fabric flowers under the brand, Banrao, which means ‘our home’ in Thai. Moreover, my company has ANANAS, a brand selling fabric and products made from pineapple fibre.
How did you develop the ANANAS brand?
Innovation is very important for product development. I worked with the research team from Hatyai University in Songkhla to develop a handwoven fabric made from pineapple fibre, which is known for its strength and durability. Therefore, it can be used for making other products such as bags, clothes, shoes, etc. This has allowed us to add value to existing local fabric production and turn agricultural waste, such as pineapple leaves, into useful material.
How does ANANAS stand out from your competitors?
Our environmental-friendly fabric is different from others because we use natural dyes. For example, the sky blue colour is from indigo; brown and old rose are from mangoesteen leaves; green, yellow and orange are from mango leaves; and black is from the leaf of the bridelia affinis Craib. The fabric is antibacterial and has no musty smells.
I understand you also foster a strong sense of community?
As a social enterprise, people from separate communities are responsible for each particular stage in the production processes, from processing pineapple leaves into fibres, to dyeing, hand weaving and using fabric to make other products. This helps strengthen the community’s economy as people increase their income.
Who are your key customers?
Currently, there are two groups of customers. Most Banrao products are sold to Thais while we supply ANANAS fabric to customers in Japan, an Australian company in Cambodia and other Thai brands in Bangkok.
What is your future plan?
I will focus more on building the ANANAS brand by adding other product lines, such as clothes, bags and fabric flowers, as well as extending our customer base in overseas markets.
How does the DITP support your business?
By participating in DITP’s Biz Club in late 2017, I had the opportunity to join many informative and useful seminars and training sessions on business and international trade. Moreover, I exhibited my products at DITP’s STYLE, where I made contact with several potential Thai and international customers.
For more information, please email: [email protected] or add LINE: banrao2513
Words by Somhatai Mosika