At a glance
We use fashion to celebrate our individuality. It’s a statement about who you are as a person. Yet when you buy a t-shirt or pair of jeans in a store, do you know how or where it was made? Do you trust the brand behind the clothing? Do they create products that align with your values?
Cambodia is one of the major players in the textile industry. Our Fast Fashion Project, based in Phnom Penh, gives you unique insight into how the industry works. It shows you the real cost of what you’re buying, and gives you inside knowledge of fast fashion ethical issues.
You’ll visit communities and villages that aren’t easily accessible to regular tourists. You’ll meet people who work in the industry, as well as local producers who stand for fair trade and create ethical products. It’s an exciting and unique introduction to ethical fashion consumption.
This trip gives you first-hand experience with the supply chain, and plenty to think about! Use the knowledge you gain to make ethical choices as a consumer. Your decisions can be part of something bigger: the fight against the fast fashion industry.
Throughout the yearSee Dates
18 or over
Visit textile factories and meet the people who work there
After settling in, and getting an introduction to Cambodia culture, language, and etiquette, your trip begins in earnest with a visit to a textile factory. The factory is approved by Better Work, an organization that fights to improve working conditions in the clothing industry.
You’ll speak to people who work in the factory, many of whom worked previously in fast fashion factories. You’ll hear their experiences first-hand, and how fast fashion impacts working conditions, their health, among other consequences. It will give you a lot to think about, and help you answer questions like “Is fast fashion sustainable?”
Get an insight into the ethical side of the industry on Silk Island
During your trip, you’ll visit Koh Dach, known as “Silk Island”. Silk is ethically produced here, with respect to the environment and with consideration for the local community. You’ll learn about the traditional silk-weaving process from local artisans.
Koh Dach is also the location of our Microfinance Project in Cambodia. Here, we work with entrepreneurs and help them support themselves through their own businesses.
Learn about labour law and human rights practices
In Phnom Penh, you’ll meet unions from the Cambodian Labour Confederation. They’ll share information about human rights and labour law in Cambodia. After this meeting, you’ll watch a documentary about the clothing industry.
Experience local markets and visit cultural and historical sites
In Siem Reap, we’ll take you to several markets where you can experience the local trade yourself. At the night market, you can sample dishes with enticing flavours, and browse original, hand-made products.
You’ll also visit Genevieve's Fair Trade Village. This is a social enterprise focused on creating a fair trade environment that benefits artisans and craftspeople with disabilities in Siem Reap. They create quality goods for fair prices.
Of course, no trip to Cambodia is complete without watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat. We’ll go to the temples early in the morning, and you can capture the moment on camera, and simply enjoy a quiet moment as you witness nature’s beauty.
Where in Cambodia will I be based during my travels?
Your trip to learn more about fast fashion and ethical consumerism in Cambodia will take you to two different locations.
The city is Cambodia's capital and economic center, and home to more than 1.5 million of the friendliest people in Asia. The economy is based on commercial interests such as clothing, trading, and small-to-medium businesses. And due to a growing tourism industry, the city is changing rapidly.
This city is a popular resort town and a gateway to the Angkor region. With its laid-back vibes, it’s a relaxing and beautiful place to stay while you tour temples and indulge in the rich history. It offers a compromise between observing every-day Cambodian life while enjoying the amenities of modern services.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Cambodia
Not quite what you’re looking for?
Take a look at the following pages where you'll find collections of similar projects: