British Council Creative Economy

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Kasuni Rathnasuriya

Kasuni Rathnasuriya

YCE Finalist

Kasuni's the founder of KUR, a Sri Lankan contemporary women’s wear label that incorporates traditional Beeralu lace into its designs.

The brandincorporates Sri Lanka’s traditional handmade lace ‘Beeralu’, a dying traditional that was introduced by the Portuguese in the southern coastal regions of the country back in the 16th century. The craft was further developed by the Dutch in the mid-17th century, becoming a lucrative business as it was sold to traders and visitors from all over the world. Women soon engaged in this craft, supplementing their families' income.

Every KUR creation is a labour of love and caters to those who value and respect local traditions, heritage, craftsmanship, and that are ethically conscious. The label helps to revitalise a dying craft in Sri Lanka while empowering the Beeralu weavers, mainly women, from south Sri Lanka.

Kasuni is the winner of the British Council’s SriLankan Young Fashion Entrepreneur (YFE) 2011 competition. She alsomade the shortlist for the first ever Sri Lankan Ethical Fashion Award, announced at the Sri Lanka Design Festival in November 2010. In February 2010 and 2011 she was invited to showcase her collection at the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week alongside international designers from around the World.

Kasuni currently also works at Brandix Lanka Limited under the capacity of Market Analyst. Brandix is Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter and is also regarded as the pioneer of eco-friendly apparel manufacture in the South Asian region.