Blog: Storms pass in Sri Lanka

Joe Ayling | 12 November 2010

The welcome awaiting Design Festival delegates at MAS

The welcome awaiting Design Festival delegates at MAS's eco-plant

Sri Lanka is getting back to normal after severe flooding that displaced thousands from their homes coincided with the start of the Sri Lanka Design Festival here in Colombo.

just-style was part of an international delegation that defiantly set off into the torrential rain yesterday (11 November) to visit an eco-factory as part of the festivities. As we drove out of the city it became clear we were going nowhere fast, with large sections of roads turned into rivers.

The long journey was worth it when we reached MAS's plant though, and were even served king coconuts by the factory staff once the weather had cleared up (see below).

Further rain also held off for the opening of the Festival's craft village last night, which involved an open-air traditional drum and dance show. Government officials attended the launch, causing a media scrum, but the president himself had the more important task of visiting local flood victims.

After an eventful day it was time to rest up for today's Ethical Fashion Symposium, where speakers discussed Sri Lanka's investment in green factories and its Garments Without Guilt campaign.

The commitment to sustainability has been an expensive one for the industry here, which will be hoping the gamble pays off.

This week's weather isn't the only storm to pass through Sri Lanka of late though, and the country has done well to bounce back from a civil war and the tsunami in the past decade and get back on its feet.

While displaced people in the north and east of the country are still feeling those effects, garment manufacturing presents a realistic opportunity to rebuild, with the industry representing 45% of the country's total exports.

Check back on just-style for further coverage from a now-sunnier Sri Lanka.


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