The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member-supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists

To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Fairtrade fashion / The ethical clothing brand weaving its magic in Cambodia

By: Cristyn Lloyd - Photography by: Sam Jam - Posted on: March 26, 2018 | Cambodia

Ethical clothing brand Goel Community is bringing back the lost art of handweaving with a dash of Cambodian style

Goel Community’s shop in Phnom Penh’s Russian Market area Photo: Sam Jam

A charming surprise lies amidst the trendy cafés and craft cocktail bars that now populate Phnom Penh’s Russian Market neighbourhood. The fairtrade fashion enterprise Goel Community fits right into this burgeoning creative hub by donning its handmade, homegrown, all-natural badge with pride. Scarves, dresses, wallets, blankets and bags made from naturally dyed fabric line the walls in subtle yellows, greys, browns and reds – and even the tables and coat hangers are locally sourced and handmade. Goel’s style is quaint, cosy and steadfastly Cambodian.

The brand’s goal is to rejuvenate the largely lost craft of Cambodian handweaving, a heritage that reaches back to the days of the Angkor Empire. With cheap, factory-made clothing leaving handwoven clothes comparatively expensive, the practice has become economically unsustainable, according to Goel’s Korean founder Han Jungmin. He explains how after arriving in Cambodia 15 years ago he discovered that in Takeo province, which is home to most of the country’s remaining traditional weavers, “12,700 looms were still operating”. Now, though, he estimates that number could be as low as 1,000. Back in 2003, Han says, only two or three families were able to make a reasonable living out of the craft, with most weaving families earning just $40-45 a month. Now, those families working with Goel can make up to $100-150 a month, with Han hoping that more business will result in higher earnings for the weavers.

“We found that the skill itself is wonderful,” says Han of his trip in 2003, “[but] not quite 100% ready to be commercialised.” However, after meeting Teav Samnang, a weaver and native of Takeo’s Bati district, everything changed. The two co-founded Goel and began providing families with the resources to develop their skills and escape garment factory work in the process.

A selection of Goel Community’s products on display Photo: Sam Jam

Explaining the current practices that Goel’s all-natural ethos hopes to counter, Han says: “Most of the weavers use chemical dyes. The chemicals they use are mostly from Vietnam or China, and the cheapest one or the most problematic dye… after using it, [if ] they spill it, [it can] contaminate the soil [or] the water resources in the house.”

Goel’s delicate aesthetic comes from using natural products to dye their fabric, including mango leaves, onion skin, jackfruit, turmeric and patana oak. Furthermore, by taking advantage of the nine months of the year when Takeo’s rice fields sit unused, Goel has become one of the few planters of the indigo plant, traditionally grown and used in Cambodia to give material a subtle blue colour. “After the civil war it was almost extinct,” says Han.

With production running smoothly, Han plans to take a backseat, leaving a fully Khmer management to expand the reach of the weavers’ handiwork. In the coming years, it is hoped that Goel’s distinctly Cambodian creations will burst beyond their current Phnom Penh hideout and grace boutiques across the Kingdom.

This article was published in the March edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here.

Related reading:

  • Good business: how social enterprises are changing Southeast Asia
  • The future of Cambodia: Manufacturing
  • The Cambodian fashion designers finding treasure in trash