New Thai brand in tableware combines top design
with traditional craftsmanship and socially responsible production
 
(Frankfurt, 12 February, 2010) - At Ambiente, Frankfurt, from 12 to 16 February, a new Thai brand in tableware will enter the international market: Bai Mai, ceramics created with care. Bai Mai combines creative top design with traditional craftsmanship and socially responsible production. The first Bai Mai collection has been designed by Dutch top designers Kiki van Eijk and Sander Luske. Kasama, the ceramics factory launching the brand, is producing according to fairtrade standards. Ambiente has selected the Bai Mai teapots for its prestigious Ambiente Trend Forum at Galleria 1. Bai Mai has been developed by Branding in the South. This Fair Trade Original programme assists producers in Asia, Africa and Latin-America in building their own brand.

The first Bai Mai collection consists of a range of teapots with matching cups. The contemporary designs still reflect the authentic Thai characteristics. The products are made by hand, using the ancient Celadon glazing technique. Bai Mai ceramics uses natural ingredients like wood ash and clay from the rice paddies. It is fired for 10 hours at extreme temperatures, creating the typical crackled effect of the glaze. Bai Mai is Thai for ‘Tree Leaf’ and reflects the natural relationship of the brand with its environment.

Kiki van Eijk and Sander Luske
Kiki van Eijk designed the showpiece of the Bai Mai collection. Kiki’s huge teapot is an ode to the traditional Celadon technique and the special skills of Kasama. During her stay at the Kasama workshop, she inspired the craftsmen to create the most delicate shade of green and the finest crackle possible. Vintage Kiki are the golden seals in which she placed tree leaves from Kasama’s factory garden. The random placement of the seals reinforces the beauty of the hand-made process. Kiki: “It was my aim to make the ritual of drinking tea even more special.”   
Sander Luske designed four teapots with matching cups for the Bai Mai collection. Sander enriched Celadon with new colours and new shapes. Kasama’s craftsmen were eager to learn from his drive to reach technical perfection. Sander found the experience rewarding: “I feel I have been able to pass on some enthusiasm for innovations.”

Authentic brand
Ceramics factory Kasama, the company launching Bai Mai, is special in more than one way. It was established in 1996 by two women, Arpasra Kleine and her sister Kate, which is quite exceptional in Thai culture. The factory soon became well known for its high-quality Celadon ceramics. Kasama uses natural raw materials and produces according to fairtrade standards. “We are dealing with environmental and fairtrade issues in a rational, business-like way. We care a lot for detail and for finishing a job well. This is reflected In our products and our company policy. These qualities should help us build a strong and authentic brand”, according to Arpasra Kleine.

Branding in the South: branding as an engine of development
Bai Mai has been developed by Branding in the South. This Fair Trade Original programme assists producers in Asia, Africa and Latin America in building their own brand. This way, producers from these parts of the world can also benefit from the added value generated by brands. Kasama is the first participant to Branding in the South to launch its own brand in the international market. Kees Bronk, Coordinator of Branding in the South: “This is an extraordinary adventure, both for Kasama and for Fair Trade Original. It is wonderful to see the birth of the very first brand. We are proving the point that brand-building is one of the key creators and sustainers of wealth in developing countries as it is in the West.”

 

Not for publication
Bai Mai can be found at Ambiente, hall 10.2, stand D19.
Bai Mai will be available in department stores and specialty shops.
For information on the availability of Bai Mai products in your country, please contact Mrs Arpasra Kleine, Export Manager of Kasama, tel: +66 81 9143242 (arpasra@truemail.co.th) or Pippa Ward-Smith at +31 65129702 (pippa@ilcielo.nl)
For more information on Fair Trade Original and the Branding in the South programme www.fairtrade.nl/771/brainding_in_the_south  or contact Kees Bronk, Coordinator, Branding in the South (bis.goodopportunity@live.nl, tel: +31 (0)6-22 77 27 93) or Paula van de Kamp, Manager, Branding & Communications, Fair Trade Original (p.van.de.kamp@fairtrade.nl, tel: +31 (0)345-545 111).


 
 
   
 
 
         
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