Fashion Design Advisor

Sri Lanka

Apply at
Assignment Type:
Canadian International Volunteer
Eligibility Requirements:
Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada only
Assignment ID:
Assignment Title:
Fashion Design Advisor
Kantala (Pvt ) Ltd.
Sri Lanka
4 to 12 months (flexible)
Time Commitment:

Assignment Context

Do you have a passion for vegan fashion accessories and have a keen eye for color? Do you have fashion design experience to share? If so, this is the role for you!

As the Fashion Design Advisor at Kantala in Colombo, Sri Lanka, you will support the development of socially responsible fashion accessories out of authentic vegan materials for export markets.

Apply now to support the revival of an ancient craft in Sri Lanka and support the economic empowerment of rural men and women!

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the Kantala staff and artisans to gain a better understanding of the local art of Hana craft production, traditional color palettes and designs
  • Support Kantala to expand the existing range of fashion accessories adapting traditional dyes and textures in line with European fashions, trends and demand
  • Develop a material sample booklet and a design catalog for business promotion
  • Use a gender lens approach in designing activities
  • Strengthen partner through environmental sustainability and climate action related initiatives 
  • Participate in pre-assignment training
  • Participate in at least 3 public engagement initiatives before, during, or after the assignment. Volunteers will be equipped with the tools, training, and support to achieve these goals. Volunteers will also have one virtual check-in with the Public Engagement Officer throughout the course of their assignment
  • Set up a personalized volunteer fundraising page on the WUSC fundraising platform and share it in your networks. Volunteers will be supported with the tools, training and support to achieve the fundraising goal
  • Submit reports as required by the partner organization and by WUSC.

Experience and Qualifications

  • Degree and/or formal qualification in Fashion Design or any other relevant field
  • Experience in designing fashion accessories such as ladies hand bags, clutch bags, purses and laptop bags and covers considered an asset
  • Minimum two (2) years relevant professional experience in your field of expertise
  • A commitment to gender equality, youth inclusion, and international volunteering
  • Flexibility, adaptability, excellent interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity
  • Experience with group facilitation and trainings, including content development considered an asset
  • Experience living and working internationally considered an asset
  • Written and oral fluency in English.

Project Description

Volunteering for development is one of the important ways in which WUSC pursues its mission. The IGNI+E project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, supports over 70 partner organizations to advance gender equality and the economic empowerment of 1.2 million youth around the world. IGNI+E harnesses the knowledge, capacity and expertise of skilled Canadians through volunteer assignments and public engagement activities to assist partners in improving their performance, advocating for gender equality, and implementing more sustainable, innovative and inclusive initiatives and services for poor and marginalised youth, particularly young women. Overseas, our volunteers collaborate with a wide variety of partners, including enterprise and social enterprise development incubators, skills training centres, women's organizations, and youth groups. In Canada, WUSC works with institutions and individuals to identify, prepare, and support volunteers who travel overseas to support our partners. Our network in Canada also works with WUSC to raise awareness among Canadians to inspire greater action on global development issues. Our collective focus is on sustainable and inclusive changes to create a better world for youth.

Partner Description

Kantala (meaning Hana in Sanskrit) was born out of the passion of the two co-founding partners’ passion of the organization who wanted to create an enterprise that would develop and protect the ancient art of weaving hana material 300 plus year old traditional craft of Dumbara Hana mat weaving. Kantala is compassionate and respectful to the environment and communities. Creating cooperatives for the artisan groups working with Kantala is central to the mission of economically, socially, and culturally empowering communities.Kantala worked with the chief artisan, to set up the Sri Lanka Dumbara Hana Weavers Association with 23 Artisans, 13 of whom are women. The Association covers artisans in both the Kandy and Matale districts. The handwoven hana material is brought to Colombo for the manufacture of bags and purses at the two workshops located in Wattala, Colombo District and Boralesgamuwa, Mawanella, Kegalle District. The products are marketed locally and overseas as high quality sustainable vegan handbags, using ethically sourced materials.

Support Package

  • Support and guidance from the WUSC Volunteer Mobilization Team prior to departure and from WUSC Country Team while on assignment
  • Pre-departure training to learn about the volunteering for development program, gain practical skills for living and working in an intercultural context and network with other volunteers
  • In-country orientation upon arrival in country of assignment
  • Language training in country of assignment, where required
  • Modest monthly living and accommodation allowance
  • Airfare to and from the assignment country
  • Visa/work permit
  • Pre-departure medical exam
  • Health insurance
  • Vaccinations and antimalarial medication
  • COVID-19 PCR testing
  • Criminal record verification
  • Vacation leave entitlement
  • Debriefing after completion of assignment
  • An incredible opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to global development, enhance your professional skills and participate in an experience of a lifetime!

WUSC’s Safeguarding Policy

WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence and we will not tolerate harassment, coercion and sexual exploitation and abuse of any form. Successful applicants will be required to sign off on the WUSC Code of Conduct and the Self-Disclosure Form. International and national volunteers will also be required to submit a criminal record verification.

WUSC is a signatory to the Cooperation Canada Leaders’ Pledge on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Misconduct. The pledge represents the shared commitment as Canada’s global development and humanitarian leaders to ensure the full implementation of practices and policies that will protect and respond to our own staff, volunteers and the communities we serve. We are committed to creating safe and respectful workplaces and programs that promote gender equality and are free from gender-based violence, including by addressing and responding to all abuse of power, holding people to account, and protecting the vulnerable. Read the full pledge.

Know someone who would be perfect for this opportunity? Please share!