Walking into an Ocean Tamwe Supercenter one Sunday, I was struck by an array of colorful and beautiful items stacked in the lobby’s mall, items unlike any other clothes and accessories in the shops there.

Recycled wallets, clothes and handmade objects filled the bazar, positioned next to the food court so as to lure all of the curious diners over. The buzzing atmosphere of the little weekend bazaar lifted the mall, but it also served another purpose: social enterprise in Yangon.

Sunflowers Group sold organic dyed weaved cloth, promoting the values of an ethical workplace; AAR Japan sold handcrafted earrings and dress decorations, boosting rights and respect for disabled children; Chu Chu sold recycled baskets and wallets, promoting environmental protection. Many of the customers were foreigners, but locals should also buy these products to help improve Myanmar.

Social Enterprises at Weekend Bazaar

The Sunflower Group stall was crowded with clothes of amazing texture and tones. The group began with its own art gallery and created the social enterprise two years ago after being inspired by weaving workers from Inle, who they now support. Sunflower Group sells in eight states in Myanmar. Like every rising enterprise, they face their own challenges – in this case, labor shortage  – and for prospective customers the group advises to see the clothes in person, as the color might be slightly different on its website.

Boasting a stand adorned with intriguing handmade items – earrings, purses, bracelets and decorations for traditional Myanmar dress – AAR Japan (a Japanese group) has been improving the lives of disabled children in Myanmar since 2002. The enterprise teaches the children computer, craft and weaving skills, as well as instilling in them a sense of confidence with morning motivational talks and other activities.

Social Enterprises at Weekend Bazaar

Chu Chu had one of the best stalls at the bazaar, touting wallets, laundry baskets, water bottles, all sorts of covers, and more. Adhering to its message of environmental awareness, all of the products were recycled. Like other stalls, the enterprise struggles to attract Myanmar customers, but plans to lower its prices to make the products more accessible to everyone. You can visit their workshop in Dala and buy their products in Hla Day from Pansodan and Thar Phu, Pawn Malone in Bo Chout Market. Overall it was a spectacular day, meeting the people behind these social enterprises and seeing their organic products. Be sure to visit them once in a while.

Update: This weekend bazaar will next appear at Marketplace by City Mart (Golden Valley Branch) on Nov 25-26 and Marketplace by City Mart (6.5 Mile Branch) on Dec 30-31.


Sunflower Group

Gallery Address: 45, Nawaday St, 10 Mile, Sawbwagyi Kone Ward, Inseing Township, (near Yangon International Airport)

Address: 54-Right, 1st Floor, Shan Gone St, Myaynigone, Sanchaung Township

Phone Number: 09250111245, 09450011956

AAR Japan

Address: No. 65, Kyaikwine Pagoda Road, Mayangone Township

Phone Number: 09254355303

Chu Chu

Address: 507 Khaye Road, Kamakasit Quarter, Dala

Phone Number: 09792582795, 099448542492

6 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, nice report, but where is this great handy craft market? And which days i can visit it? Thanks for the feedback. I would like to go there.

    • Thanks for the comment. The location is mentioned at the top of the article and the market’s next appearances in 2017 are included in the update at the bottom of the article. Happy shopping.

  2. Hi I have a question. Is the weekend bazaar every weekend or does it just happen sometimes? I was wondering so I can go check it out myself. Thanks.

    • Thanks for the comment. The market’s next appearances in 2017 are included in the update at the bottom of the article. Happy shopping.

      • Oh no. I will miss both 🙁 Was out of town this weekend and again next time. Do you know for January or February? Please let me know when you get a chance. Thanks.

  3. It’s like you always have something new to serve to readers. This is really a great knowledge about Social Enterprises at Weekend Bazaar. I extremely like your points. That’s Indeed a great post. This share would definitely help. Thanks for giving such insightful share.

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