It’s one thing knowing where your basket came from – we talk about this a lot, and you’d be hard pushed to buy a basket from us and NOT learn something about where or by whom it was made. Most of you will know that all of our woven basket bags and laundry baskets, wall platters, dog baskets and planters were hand woven by someone working within a fair trade weaving cooperative; you’ll know that she (because it’s largely but not exclusively women who weave) was paid fairly and on time for her work, and given the equipment, the time and the training to complete her basket orders. But the actual act of weaving, let alone the task of harvesting, rolling, dying and drying of sisal, banana leaf or elephant grass fibres, is a less tangible thing for us to grasp.
Weaving collective in Ghana
And it’s no wonder, really. We sit and work amongst baskets of all shapes and sizes all day long: designing them, styling them, photographing them, stacking them on shelves and packing them up when you buy them from us, and it still blows our minds that these creations came from the earth, each one crafted tirelessly by hand. Even for those of us who regularly visit the cooperatives and have seen it all happen first hand, these baskets are still a marvel.
So to celebrate the beautiful, sustainable and precious craft of basket weaving and to help complete this essential chapter in the story of our baskets – their prologue, if you like - we made a little film about it. We’ve been working on this and a few other films over the course of 2019 and we thought that this week would be a timely moment to share the first chapter of our story, before the chaos of a *particular* Friday in the consumer calendar is upon us.
Our Film - FROM EARTH TO BASKET
Individually and personally as well as within our brand, we’re pushing for a more conscious Christmas this year. Without wanting to dull the sparkle and the warmth of this special season, we’re gently challenging ourselves to make more conscious choices in our Christmas shopping, from the welfare standards of the food we buy and cook to the way we wrap our gifts.
At a time of year where conversation often turns quickly to whether we’ve started / how far we’ve got with / who has finished their ubiquitous Christmas shopping, it can be easy to lose one’s way and get swept up in that artificial sense of panic.
Basket Weavers, Swaziland
So this is a much a note to ourselves as it is an invitation to you, to take a deep breath and try to tune out some of that noise. To skip the adverts, gloss over the deals and discounts, and change the conversation - literally. To engage with and mindfully make each Christmas purchase, asking yourself whether the supply chain behind each product is transparent and ethical. To buy less, to choose well, to support small brands that do good, and to spend your pounds like you are casting votes for the businesses and artisans you want to see prosper in 2020.
Shop our Christmas Gifting