Woven Travels Stories – Tagged "fairtrade" – The Basket Room
Free Shipping on orders over £100
Due to a shortage of drivers, we are experiencing delays in delivery - Please allow 2-3 days for shipping!
0 Cart
Added to Cart
      You have items in your cart
      You have 1 item in your cart
        Total

        Woven Travels Stories — fairtrade

        CHOOSE THE WORLD YOU WANT: FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT 22ND FEB - 7TH MARCH 2021

        CHOOSE THE WORLD YOU WANT: FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT 22ND FEB - 7TH MARCH 2021

        Since Fairtrade Fortnight's aim this year is to highlight the challenges climate change presents to rural farmers, we’d like to show you a short film we have made about the chairlady of one of the basket weaving groups we work closely with in Kenya: Madam Dorcas Ndinda, a farmer and greengrocer. 

         

        Read more

        Ariaal Style: A Meeting of Two Tribes

        Ariaal Style: A Meeting of Two Tribes

        Back in March this year, Camilla travelled across Kenya to meet the Ngurunit Weavers Group, the collective of 150 women who produce our beautiful Pambo Palm beaded baskets.  It’s vitally important for us to get to know the people behind our baskets, to hear their stories and to see first-hand how they live and work. And, ultimately, to bring these stories to our customers: the people who bring these baskets home. Closing the gap between maker and buyer keeps the supply chain transparent, and is the key to truly ethical, fair trade. 

        pambo palm samburu the basket room nomadic

        So here's the story. It all begins in a village called Ngurunit.

        samburu the basket room nomadic Ngurunitlandscape samburu kenya the basket room nomadic

        Ngurunit lies at the foot of the Ndoto Mountains, close to the arid Korante Plain and the Kaisut Desert. Drought is widespread here and livestock are dying. Food relief (a government scheme) is currently in action in Ngurunit, where livestock owners are incentivised to slaughter and feed from their own cattle by being paid the cash value of the animal. This is done to save animals from starving and going to waste, and to feed the people without families losing their precious investment.

        landscape samburu the basket room kenya

        The weavers are semi-nomadic pastoralists (herding camels, cattle, sheep and goats) known collectively as Ariaal: not fully Samburu nor fully Rendille but a rich mixture of the two tribes. The Ariaal people are known for their peaceful ways and their openness to compromise, merging characteristics from both traditions - in house building, in bead making and in handicrafts – and they speak the two tribal languages interchangeably.

        dance samburu the basket room nomadic kenya

        The woven, beaded baskets they produce are possibly the best metaphor for this rich, multifaceted culture: the tight and traditional basket weaving technique developed by the Rendille tribe is complemented by the bold coloured, delicate beaded embellishments seen in Samburu tribal necklaces and headdresses.

        fair trade samburu the basket room nomadic

        These tightly woven baskets were traditionally created by the Rendille people as vessels for collecting camels’ milk.  When made solely for this purpose, baskets were sealed with a camel colostrum coating on the inside and then regularly treated with wood smoke to keep them free from milk-spoiling microbes. 

        handcraft samburu the basket room kenya

         But as plastic and metal jugs became readily available for collecting milk, the production of these baskets fell into decline and became an almost entirely forgotten art form until only very recently. It was in 2001 that access to market was achieved and these baskets found a place in the modern home as practical and attractive fruit bowls, bread baskets, planters and dressing table baskets.

        So whilst these baskets are structurally influenced by the Rendille, their beads are borrowed from Samburu culture. The multi-coloured layers of beaded collars, headdresses and earrings worn by the Samburu women denote not only marital status but also other clues as to a woman’s rank within the tribe. Beads, buttons and sequins in different colours can signify anything from her husband’s wealth to how many sons she has birthed.

        beads samburu tribe the basket room kenya

        Yet despite all of this patriarchal symbolism, life has changed considerably for Aarial women in recent years. In this rural region of Kenya where milk is precious currency, women are now allowed to own milk-producing camels as well as milk itself. These delicately beaded baskets are symbols of empowerment for tribal women, and income from weaving helps mothers buy food and pay for school fees and transportation. 

        In purchasing a Pambo Palm basket you support the livelihoods of the Ngurunit people and become a guardian of this precious craft. Have a browse and shop the collection right here.

        For more pictures from the trip click here.

         

        Fashion Revolution: Who Made Your Baskets?

        Fashion Revolution: Who Made Your Baskets?

        The Basket Room Fashion Revolution Week

        We’re proudly supporting Fashion Revolution next week, because we wholeheartedly believe that fashion should feel good. Did you know that today only half of the 219 biggest fashion brands in the world know which factories their products are manufactured in? Or that only 25% of these big labels know where the zippers, buttons, threads and fabrics that make their clothes came from?

        Read more

        Weaving for Equality: International Women’s Day 2017

        Weaving for Equality: International Women’s Day 2017
        It’s International Women’s Day on 8th March, and this year our rally cry is #BeBoldForChange. So earlier this week we caught up with two members of the Kenyan weaving cooperative we work with: Peninah and Florence. Here’s what these talented craftswomen have to say about being working women in 2017, and the barriers they have overcome through basket weaving and working within a cooperative.

        Read more

        }div#shopify-section-163172170202588910 { background-color: #ff3399; }