From simple key chains Socoon has developed intricate products for modern consumers.
Its lamp has received awards both in Thailand and Japan.
The community enterprise has increased wages for staff and focused on human development.
A community enterprise that started developing local key chains from cocoons has developed due to support from the DITP. Now Socoon produces silk cocoon lamps with unique stitching techniques that require hundreds of cocoons, and has increased value.
Kittisak Kajonpai, Director of Silk Cocoon Community Enterprise, wished to develop products to improve the quality of life of the local community. Originally, most silk cocoons were made into key chains but after successfully applying to the DITP’s OTOP Premium Go Inter project, the community received product ideas and advice from product designers who helped them with the design process and technique.
“When we first started product development was difficult because our community members only made a keychain with glue,” says Kajonpai. “When we switched to sewing and creating a cloud design, we had to learn all new process and initiate a new craft technique.”
Now Socoon produces boxes, bags and cloud-shaped cocoon lamps that are fire resistant and waterproof, as well as key rings, thus creating added value.
“It’s all because the people in the community have embraced change,” says Kajonpai. “The process of making cocoon lamps is not easy. Cocoons must be ordered from Saraburi’s provincial sericulture centre three to four months in advance. The cocoon is cut, and the scraps used to make key chains. It takes three to four days to make each lamp.”
Socoon’s lamp has received the Demark Award since 2017 from the DITP and Thai Tae Award from Minister of Tourism and Sports.
Today, Socoon has grown from five members 48 years ago to 30 today. It was Kajonpai’s intention to increase the wages of the community’s workers, who can now earn up to 300 to 500 baht per day.
“We will continue to improve each year,” he says. “What we have done has worked. We have then brought the information back to disseminate to other OTOP (One Tambon One Product) groups so that they can develop as well. We also focus on human development. There are frequent training sessions. We encourage the youth to join in so they can learn from our success.”
For those interested in lifestyle products, STYLE Bangkok is an international trade fair organised by the DITP that offers all sorts of lifestyle products to respond to new trends. The fair is held each April and October. Find more information visit: www.stylebangkokfair.com
For more information about Socoon, please visit www.facebook.com/socoonthai
Words by Natthinee Ratanaprasidhi
Photo courtesy of Socoon