From ancient temples to contemporary home decor, hand carved wooden furniture to naturally-dyed cotton and silk, Chiang Mai has a long history of handicrafts, art, design and culture that is still alive and well today.
Nestled in the hills of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is known for its handicraft traditions and being a unique place where people, place and culture are intertwined. Here you’ll still find everything from baskets to tailored blazers that are handmade and affordable to use in everyday life. You’ll also find a new wave of designers, artists and makers that are blending aspects of the old with plenty of new and an emphasis on slow living and sustainability.
This dedication to creativity is just one of the many reasons we love living in Chiang Mai and are proud to base SuperBee here. We’re constantly surrounded by creative individuals, inspirations and ideas.
At the end of 2017, we received a Chiang Mai Design Award for Product Design from the organisation Creative Chiang Mai. In its seventh year, the awards focus on contemporary design across six categories and are chosen by a panel of volunteer judges who themselves are recognised designers, artists and experts.
Of course, it was an honour to be recognised by our community but what made it even more special is the fact that there are so many creative businesses and products in Chiang Mai – we’re in good company!
Some of our favourite creative businesses in Chiang Mai are also some of the most sustainable and eco-friendly around.
You may have heard us talk about Studio Naenna before as we collaborated with the textile dyeing and weaving studio on our popular Bee Indigo Eco Food Wrap made from locally harvested and woven organic cotton that was then hand-dyed with local indigo leaves. Dedicated to ethical fashion and eco textiles, as well as creating a positive working environment, Studio Naenna is a community of women weavers from various ethnic groups in northern Thailand that creates incredibly bee-autiful, high quality and sustainable clothing and textiles.
Hammocks are always cool, but the team at Flying Squirrel Hammocks have upped the game by working with local female seamstresses to handcraft the hammocks in the comfort of their own homes, on their own schedule while receiving fair wages.
Chiang Mai’s “cafe with a cause”, Free Bird Cafe is oh so much more than just a place to eat delicious organic vegan food. The cafe directly supports a community language and arts program for Burmese refugees and serves as the heart of a variety of other passion projects, community initiatives and eco brands, from handmade bamboo straws to a forthcoming waste-free shop that will be the first in town.
Chiang Mai Life Architects and Construction builds unbelievable bamboo and earth structures that are not only gorgeous (just look at this) but sustainable and natural. The company’s philosophy is to increase the quality of life of the people interacting the finished buildings by using natural materials combined with modern architecture.