Designed and Made in Sri Lanka Shopping Guide

Victoria’s Top 10

Listed below are my top picks for places to shop that promote outstanding Sri Lankan design and/or support quality Sri Lankan artisanal textiles and craft, starting with DFSD’s social enterprise partners Urban Island and Fashion Market Lanka

1.URBAN ISLAND

 

 

Urban Island stocks the very best of Sri Lankan design. This includes Urban Island branded gift ware, ceramics and textiles, and a carefully selected range of local brands, all with a modern tropical aesthetic.  Urban Island opened its flagship store in Colombo in September 2018, but its origins date back to 2013 when it was created to help market craft made by artisans in Northern Sri Lanka. And it has fair-trade status.

What I Love- Urban Island's regularly evolving homeware collection ,combining the skills of great talented designers with skilled artisans is stunning.Ask to see items made from dumbara weaving which is unique to Sri Lanka.

  • No 181, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7 (Flagship store)
  • No 506 Peradeniya Road, Kandy
  • Urban Island at Shangri-La Hambantota



2.FASHIONMARKET.LK

 

 

FMLK - a sister brand to Urban Island - recent opened a fabulous new store. It carries a beautiful range of handmade saris, as well as large line of clothing from young Sri Lankan designers with new items being added regularly. Isuru Liyanage, an upcoming young designer, heads the Fashion Market team.

What I Love- Clothing that incorporate traditional Sri Lankan motifs and handicrafts into modern silhouettes.

  • Shop online at or visit No 50 Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7 (Greenpath). Other stockists include Urban Island, 181 Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7 

3.BAREFOOT 

Barefoot stocks a wide range of “designed and made in Sri Lanka” items - including gift ware, sarongs, clothing and tableware - in vibrant island colours. Barefoot is the undisputed pioneer of handloom and craft revival in Sri Lanka. It was founded by arts maven Barbara Sansoni in the 1960s, and is now run by her son Dominic (a brilliant photographer).

What I Love-Barbara Sansoni's signature designs -a national treasure.

  • 04 Galle Rd, Colombo 3 (Flagship store) Dutch Hospital, Fort Colombo 1
  • 41 Pedlar Street, Galle Fort

4.SELYN


Selyn Handlooms produces and stocks clothing, homeware, toys and table and bedlinen made from handloom cotton. Selyn employs over 1000 skilled weavers, has fair-trade status and is working to become a zero waste operation. Selyna Peris, who has taken over day to day operations from her mother Sandra, is a leader in promoting sustainable fashion and heritage craft.

What I Love- visiting Selyn's weaving operations in Kurunegala and seeing the fabulous work they do.(You can book a tour through their website.)

  • 105 Fife Road, Colombo 5 (Flagship store)
  • 195 Colombo Road, Kurunegala
  • 300 Lewis Place, Negombo
  • 71/1 Temple Street, Kandy (adjacent to the Temple of the Tooth) Gimahala Hotel, Dambulla

5.L’Atelier TOUCHE

L’Atelier Touche is the place to go for elegant and chic clothing and accessories that are beautifully made and have a European sensibility. “Designed and made in Sri Lanka" by founders Catherine Obrenovic and Heidy Rampinelli, the exclusive L’Atelier Touche range is simply exquisite.

what I Love- This stylish store is a destination in itself and the service is second to none.

  • 504 R A De Mel Mawatha, 2nd Floor, Colombo 03.

6.THE DESIGN COLLECTIVE

The Design Collective showcases fashion and jewelry designers primarily from Sri Lanka, but also elsewhere in region. Beautifully housed in an old colonial building, the Design Collective is testament to the talent and diversity of the local design community.

What I love- Talking with Design Collective founder Shahili Gomes whose fashion for great design is infectious.

  • 28 Stratford Avenue, Colombo 06.

7.PARADISE ROAD

Paradise Road homeware, giftware and crockery is instantly recognisable by its trademark black and white palette and minimalist design. Established in 1987 by design icon Shanth Fernando, the Paradise Road group now consists retail outlets, boutique hotels, art gallery and restaurant. The most recent addition is PR, a fashion and accessory house, run by daughter Annika Fernando. PR has its own brand Maus in addition to Sri Lankan and regional designers. 

What I love- Paradise Road hand-painted ceremics: fabulous and functional

  • 213, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 07.(Flagship store)

  • 2019 Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 7 (Collection)

  • 2 Alfred House Road, Colombo 3 (Gallery and Cafe

8.SONALI DHAMAWARDENA

Sonali is a gifted artist who creates exceptionally beautiful pieces of wearable art in batik (a heritage craft in Sri Lanka). Her lyrical designs, exquisite palette, and beautifully cut and finished garments set her apart.

What I Love- Everything. Sonali's pieces are timeless. beautiful and a delight to wear.

  • Stocked at PR Fashion, 41 Horton Place 

9.BUDDI BATIKS

Buddhi Batiks carries sarees, clothing and accessories in a vibrant kalediscope of colours. It is a family-owned workshop and business operating since 1970, with a strong focus passing heritage skills from older artisans to the new generation. Creative Director Dashi Keerthisena (daughter of founders Buddhi and Ranasiri) is a vocal advocate of ethical fashion. 

What I Love- Buddi's beautiful colour palette is a joy.

  • 32 Ward Place, Colombo 7

  • Also stocked at The Design Collective, 28 Stratford Ave, Colombo 5

10.RITHIHI 

This beautiful clothing and accessories store celebrates exquisite craftsmanship, weaves and textures.  While much of Rithihi’s “wearable art” is sourced from India, we are including it in our Sri Lanka guide as Rithihi regularly exhibits and promotes the best of Sri Lankan handcraft.  

What I Love- We applaud Rithihi's owner Valli Mohideen for her long-time advocacy for natural and sustainable dye, her support for great design, and her impeccable style. 

  • 19 Alfred House Gardens, Colombo 3