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Our Story

The roots of Kadadasi dates back about five decades, when the 7 acre plot of land surrounding the ancestral home of Vijiitha Basnayaka was gradually and caringly reforested by him.  He is an architect who firmly believes that architecture and nature should have a very close affinity; that the closer we are to nature, the less complicated our lifestyles will be.   Surroundings of his home were, thus, turned into a beautiful lush forest of high biodiversity, peace and tranquility.  It is situated in a village called Bollatha, nestled in a commercially and industrially developing area 20 km from the Katunayake International Airport.

It is in such an environment that Kadadasi came into being.  Ira, his wife, is a naturalist, a homemaker, and an avid birder. She witnessed industrialisation and its adversities encroaching their village and the surrounding areas.  Poor waste disposal as a result of the industrialization, was a cause for concern. Refusing to watch helplessly, harnessing her passion and creativity, Ira was determined to reuse, recycle, and repurpose a commodity that is vastly overconsumed industrially and is a reason for global deforestation - paper.

After learning the art of manufacturing handmade recycled paper in India, she started her own home enterprise of recycled handmade paper; a small papermaking unit in a corner of her garden.  With her inherent creativity she began experimenting with the art of papermaking by combining what is naturally available in the surrounding forest with paper reclaimed from industrial waste. This resulted in papers of unique textures and designs, and with her knack for blending colours brought about unique shades into the papers she created.   

As a multi-faceted woman, our founder, Ira takes a keen interest in organic rice paddy cultivation. This brought her in contact with the villagers, especially the women who were picking odd jobs which required hard manual labor to simply make ends meet for their families. Determined to provide them with a steady source of income, she took them under her wing teaching them the art of making recycled paper at Kadadasi. Not only had these women had now found a safe and homely environment to work while enhancing their livelihood, this gave them the opportunity to discover their skills and unleash their creativity and become a productive asset at Kadadasi.  

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Reuse!  Recycle!  Repurpose!


The concept of Kadadasi is to be environmentally sustainable and to have a minimum carbon footprint in the manufacturing process.  Opting for manually operated machines in the workshop eliminates the need for high electricity consumption.  The work place too is designed to let in natural ventilation and light; thus, creating a pleasant working environment for our team of female workforce.


Waste water from the handmade paper manufacturing plant is reused given that the raw material used in this paper making process are natural and nontoxic.  Hence, the waste water is diverted to the surrounding Permaculture garden.

Kadadasi is not only a paper making business but also a social enterprise passionate about creating a safe and empowering work environment for our female workforce.  Our employees are the biggest asset and we strive for them to achieve work-life balance.  Taking the demands of a parent into consideration, we offer flexible work hours to enable them to attend to their children's needs. 


In addition to this, Kadadasi boasts of a near 2-acre manmade forest. Replete with water ways to enrich flora and fauna alike, it is a thriving eco-habitat. When traditional paper manufacturing means the felling of trees is part and parcel of the process, with our recycled paper workshop, we ensure that not a single tree is expended for our manufacture. We strive to give twice as back to the environment, by reducing industry paper waste, and not depleting any of nature’s scarce resources

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