Saoban was started by PADETC, Lao NGO, as a fair trade social business that works with traditional handicraft artisans to preserve and promote Lao village crafts, create employment opportunities for villagers - mostly women - and reduce poverty.  Saoban means ‘villager’ in the Lao language.

Saoban represents a dynamic and promising new opportunity for preserving ancient crafts and techniques, an important cultural tradition among the diverse ethnic population of Laos.  Saoban works on both sides of production, improving product range and quality and securing domestic and foreign markets on behalf of rural artisan groups.

Saoban follows fair trade principles to ensure that artisans receive a fair price for their products and benefits extend to the whole community. Read more about how we work with villagers and operate under the principles of fair trade.

To date, Saoban works with hundreds of artisans across ten provinces in Laos.