Kylie Kwong to design her first ever kitchenware range with Oxfam

| 15 October , 2010 | Reply

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Kylie Kwong was at the Oxfam Store at Broadway today (Friday 15th October) to announce that she will be designing her own range of fair trade kitchenware, to be sold through Oxfam\’s shops around Australia.

The new kitchenware range will be developed by Kylie in close collaboration with Oxfam, and crafted by one of Oxfam\’s key producer partners in Vietnam, in time for Christmas next year.

“When Oxfam approached me to consider designing a range of kitchenware, I realised this was a project which could bring together my passion for cooking, love of art, and advocacy for a better deal for producers in developing countries,” Ms Kwong said.

This is the first time Kylie has ventured into kitchenware products, the range will be influenced by Kwong\’s Chinese heritage with a modern twist, similar to the highly acclaimed food she serves up at Sydney restaurant Billy Kwong. Kylie will create unique designs to adorn her range, which will include a soup bowl, rice bowl, and Chinese teapot and teacup.

“I am incredibly excited about this project, and about playing a greater role in raising awareness about fair trade and its benefits,” Ms Kwong said.

Her kitchenware range will be produced by Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts, who specialise in ceramics and are renowned for their intricate, hand-painted designs. Originally established to help send Vietnamese children to school, Mai now employs the mothers and older sisters of these children, and most of its artisans are women.

Kylie, a long term Ambassador for the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand, said designing her own fair trade kitchenware range was a “natural extension” of her advocacy on the issue.

“The fair trade system puts people back front and centre of the supply chain, and can make a tangible difference to the lives of families in developing countries. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by my mother and her sisters, and I feel a real affinity for Mai\’s work with Vietnamese women,” Ms Kwong said.

Kylie will travel to Vietnam in early 2011 to meet with Mai producers, check on the development of her new range, and see firsthand how fair trade is benefiting this community.

The new range, will be sold exclusively through Oxfam\’s shops around Australia, in time for Christmas 2011, Oxfam has 23 retail shops around Australia and an online shop at www.oxfamshop.org.au.

Courtesy of Oxfam & Michael Myers

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