Passing down tradition

“I’m actually from the first batch of young people to return home to start a business. I came back to repay my family, who had scraped together money to give me a better education, so I wanted to do something to benefit the stockade,” said Lai. “I was planning to build a road for the village with my savings, then it occurred to me to organize them to weave.” She then thought that with more and more young people working in the city, the precious heritage passed down from their ancestors was in danger of being lost.

“We were so proud when our cloth first appeared in the Paris Fashion Week in 2013, and people started to noticed that the cloth was from Rongjiang in Guizhou, which is also indigo dyed,” said Lai. However, Lai has turned down opportunities to work with top global luxury brands on many occasions, because they wanted her to change the traditional weaving methods, and Lai believed this would not be helpful in preserving Dong cloth weaving skills.

“My million yuan in debt does not make me a noble person. I care more about not losing the precious skills from my ancestors,” said Lai.