Maybank Women Eco-Weavers

Economic independence through sustainable textile production.


Today about six out of 10 (ten) of the world’s poorest are women who are exposed to extreme poverty compared to men for a variety of reasons. In recent years, women have made great strides in opening businesses, building credit, and increasing their participation in the economy. Women’s economic empowerment is proving efficient not only in reducing poverty at the individual and family level, but also as a powerful tool to boost economic development at the national and global level.

In ASEAN, there exist many similarities that cut across borders of the 10 member nations, one of which being the ancient art of textile weaving. Although textiles differ in material and design, they are all often painstakingly woven by women within their own communities. Conditions for women weavers can be hard, and whilst the textiles can be works of art that represent the heritage of the countries, they struggle to survive in these modern times.

As a leading regional bank, Maybank appreciates the traditions and heritage across Southeast Asia, including the struggles women face to preserve the ancient art of textile weaving. Through the Maybank Women Eco-Weavers programmeme, we promote traditional textiles in a sustainable manner whilst creating economic independence and financial inclusion of women weavers across the ASEAN region

Ecoweaver 1



Maybank Women Eco-Weavers is an economic empowerment programme designed to support traditional weaving practices in ASEAN. The programme involves:

  • Identifying new talent;
  • Training;
  • Capacity building; and
  • Microfinance to support the sustainable development of women entrepreneurs.

We work strategically with local partners with passion and a good track record in developing women weavers in entrepreneurs.

Environmental stewardship serves as a key differentiator in production, as we promote eco-friendly, naturally dyed hand-woven items. This initiative aims to create a sustainable weaving industry, whilst economically empowering and creating financial inclusion for women.

Together with the ASEAN Foundation, we are evolving a common mission to preserve the ASEAN cultural heritage and contribute towards building the ASEAN identity.



The Maybank Women Eco-Weavers programme promotes and enhances traditional textiles globally in a sustainable manner whilst creating economic independence and financial inclusion for women weavers regionally.

This regional initiative aims to:

  • Promote the creation of new women weavers throughout the entirety of the ASEAN region.
  • Expand gradually to provide financial inclusion to women in other relevant regions where we operate.
  • Promote environmentally-friendly practices and the use of natural production materials.
  • Preserve and promote ASEAN cultural heritage.
  • Promote ASEAN awareness and sense of community.



Maybank Women Eco-Weavers programme in Indonesia is carried out in East Lombok, Central Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara), Sawahlunto and Tanah Datar (West Sumatera).

It is hoped that the programme will contribute to economic prosperity and poverty reduction for weavers in East Lombok, Central Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara), Sawahlunto and Tanah Datar (West Sumatera) Indonesia by promoting sustainable and naturally dyed hand-woven items as cultural heritage.

In this programme we provide routine trainings for 400 women in 4 areas in 3 years. The trainings comprise of knowledge on weaving technique as Indonesia has its signature weaving tools called Gedog-an as a-generation-to-generations inheritance, natural dyes process, marketing, promotion and financial literacy.

Ecoweaver 2


This programme in Indonesia aims to bring the following results:

  • 400 hand-weaving and eco-friendly weavers
  • 4 new markets to emerge as network to connect weavers and cooperatives with wholesalers and retailers.
  • 4 weaving learning center establishments in the districts managed by women cooperatives in collaboration with local district government.
  • 300 urban consumers are reached by education campaigns on natural dye.

Through this programme, we support Eco-friendly weavers to have access to micro financing for sustainable production and consumption activities. We also support marketing training for weaver and strengthen women’s cooperatives in the programme’s local area.

Through training, capacity building and microfinancing, women weavers will have adequate tools to help their families to become economically independent.

In Indonesia, we cooperate with Asosiasi Pendamping Perempuan Usaha Kecil (ASPPUK), non governmental organization which concentrates on women empowerment in micro enterprises. We also cooperated with a designer, Merdi Sihombing to be facilitator for “Eco Design Training”. Merdi teaches about natural dyes, eco design and how to make beautiful color and pattern for National and International Market.



In Cambodia, silk weaving is an ancient Khmer art and also an imminent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contributor. Maybank Women Eco Weavers in Cambodia is carried out in Takeo.

We empower and train talented Cambodian women with the skills of silk weaving to produce high quality Cambodian golden silk.

In its first year alone, the programmeme had trainned 25 women weavers, engages with 80 farmers and planted 8.500 mulberry trees as the main food source for the silkworms.

Ecoweaver 3

This programme in Cambodia aims to bring the following results:

  • 6 courses to train weavers and farmers
  • 150 trainees learning the skills of silk weaving
  • 210 households growing mulberry trees

In our effort to enrich the lives of women weavers in Cambodia, we partners with Color Silk, a local NGO that champions the revival of silk weaving industry in the community.

Through this partnership, we also assist a sericulture programme to support farmers producing high quality silk loom, as an important material of high quality Cambodian golden silk.

Ecoweaver 4



This programme will also have impact on:

1. Human Capital

  • Women empowerment and education
  • Increase household income
  • Making more jobs available for rural women
  • Reduce urban migration
  • Women self-sufficiency
  • Improve women’s skills
  • Additional income to alleviate poverty and to afford education expenses for children

2. Community development

  • One village, one product
  • Community sharing culture
  • Building business concept into community for a better life
  • Raise awareness and strengthen women groups through financial institution
  • Women are equals in term of economic and social participation
  • Community will keep the local culture as a part of the heritage and share knowledge to create new motifs from the nature

3. Health

  • Reduce the usage of pesticide and synthetic color
  • Health education as part of training
  • The production process and final products are safe for user’s body and for the environment
  • Working and earning income boost self-esteem and improve mental health.

4. Education

  • Women have access to formal weaving trainings
  • Women have access to share knowledge with each other
  • Additional income for household means children will not have to work in farms, thus allowing them to the opportunity to attend school
  • Local assistants continue to share knowledge and assist the weavers on products’ quantity and quality as they are facing competition in the global market.
  • Afford to send children to university
  • The community center can be served as training center and knowledge repository where people around the world can study and research about eco weaving

5. Environment

  • 100% natural
  • Natural dye color made out from tree bark, tree leaves, tree seed, stem, roots, seaweed, sand, mud, flowers, fruits, squid ink, and rocks.
  • Silk thread preparation is a natural process and silk weaving uses traditional weaving machines that does not use electricity
  • Mulberry trees are ecologically important as the sole food source of the silkworm. No chemical or artificial food are fed the silkworm.
  • Proper waste disposal






Maybank Foundation exists to positively impact communities in markets that Maybank operates. We care about the communities that sustain our business and we are committed to giving back through long-term partnerships, volunteer efforts and targeted social investments. Our approach goes beyond charitable giving and we want to build sustainable programmes with long-lasting impact. Visit our Maybank Foundation website at:

Maybank Foundation
Mezzanine Floor
Menara Maybank
100 Jalan Tun Perak
50050 Kuala Lumpur

  • 27 September 2017
    The Launching of Maybank Foundation Merdeka Art Exhibition, EMANSIPASI : A Solo Exhibition by Badruddin Syah Abdul Wahab
  • 19 September 2017
    ASEAN@50: 50th Anniversary Celebration Features "Maybank Women Eco-Weavers"
  • 07 September 2017
    Scaling Up of Cashville Kidz Financial Literacy Programme in Cambodia
  • 08 August 2017
    Launching of The Maybank Silk Weaving Training Centre, Cambodia
  • 29 July 2017
    Global Tiger Day 2017