Hanna Guy / Co-Founder of Dorsu
I was one of those naive 21 year old Australians who came here to ‘help the Cambodians’, I’m ashamed of being so naive – believing the saviour marketing about orphanages and saving children or whatever.
After traveling around Cambodia I met the Director of a community organization in Kampot. He sharpened me up, explained that he wasn’t interested in foreigners coming to help children and expressed his desire to build a community-led school as a positive example within Cambodia. We started Dorsu as a small enterprise to raise money for his organization.
We were initially a tiny project, my Co-founder, Kunthear and I and two staff. We started as two friends wanting to build “something” that proved business could be kind. After a few years we wanted to shed the ‘small social enterprise’ feel and scale the business. We created a manufacturing clothing label that allows all people, from an online shopper buying a dress through to companies purchasing thousands of t-shirts, to gain a unique insight into how clothes are and can be made.
COVID-19 forced us to reflect. We made quick decisions, closed our retail stores and successfully pivoted to producing face masks. As we settled into the new model Kunthear and I decided that the next chapter of Dorsu’s future journey should be led by someone other than us and sold the company. We’re deeply proud that our business is strong and has continued to hold such relevant future potential to show an alternative way in the garment industry.
I’m leaving Cambodia, but will continue to work within social and environmental aspects of the garment industry. Fashion, to me, is about justice. I want to drive transparency, encourage bravery, and improve the global garment industry one small piece at a time.