Our Story

Urban Island homeware and textiles - designed and made in Sri Lanka

Urban Island partners with rural artisans in Sri Lanka to produce high quality hand-made homeware and textiles. Our beautifully-designed product line includes placemats and table linen, cushion covers, basketry, hand-turned wood boards and bowls and forged steel objects.

Urban Island began as a local initiative by Colombo’s AOD (Academy of Design www.aod.lk) to help support Sri Lankan artisans primarily in northern communities, through its Design For Sustainable Development Foundation (www.dfsdsrilanka.org) We have since expanded to work with rural crafts people across the island. Purchasing from the Urban Island range helps to provide dignified home-based employment for skilled artisans, many of whom are women.

A unique feature of Urban Island is that our artisans work alongside AOD’s designers to develop our products. This helps to preserve Sri Lankan craft and heritage skills, while ensuring our products are functional and adapted to contemporary need. In addition to our regularly evolving range, we will work with customers to develop bespoke items.

Urban Island treads lightly to protect our island environment. Our homeware and textiles are made from eco-friendly Sri Lankan materials including woven palm, cane, wood, hand-woven textiles, batik, hand-woven hemp, hand thrown ceramics, metal and terracotta. We handle waste responsibly, and use waste by-products wherever possible. We do not use plastic bags.

By shopping with us, you are supporting skilled artisans; promoting design excellence; helping preserve Sri Lanka’s craft heritage; and encouraging sustainability.