UHAI: Handwoven Natural Sisal Tote Bag
Stunning in soft off white, UHAI is a delightful woven tote bag that’s the perfect size for market trips, yoga and the gym.
This ethically-produced tote bag was woven by a member of a thriving women’s weaving co-operative in the greater Lower Eastern region of Kenya. Each tote bag takes up to a week to complete, practised little and often between other household chores, trips to Church, and crop farming duties. Once finished, the totes are sent to a leading leather workshop where cow hide shoulder straps are produced and attached by artisan leatherworkers.
The methods used to create these wonderful baskets are woven through the generations, passed from grandmothers to mothers to granddaughters. In producing and selling our basket bags, the women of this weaving cooperative are able to pay school fees , medical bills, and purchase food and uniform. During the dry seasons, farming communities often struggle to produce enough crop to meet their family’s basic needs but basket weaving offers a flexible second income.
All our hand-woven bags come with a thank you card from the cooperative that made it, and you can meet the weavers HERE.
Material: SISAL & LEATHER
Dimensions: W38cm x H30cm (width is measured at widest part of bag)
Strap Length: 29cm approx
Leather used is a by-product of the food industry.
Please note, as this is a handmade product, dimensions & colour may vary from those shown in the photographs.
FAIR TRADE & HANDMADE IN KENYA
Our journey into sustainable style began in Kenya, and the lion’s share of our woven baskets are Kenyan-made. Whilst every region of Kenya boasts its own rich natural bounty, each cooperative we partner with offers expertise in its own unique form of basketry. Weaving, dyeing and grass-rolling techniques differ across the regions as much as basket shapes, patterns and structures. These precious crafts are woven through the generations within families - passed along continuous thread from mother to daughter - protecting and preserving an art form as old as man.
Vast and colourful, vibrant and bursting with natural beauty and style, our fair trade baskets are as eclectic as their homeland and its people. From sisal grass to doum palm, banana leaf fibres to palm leaf, each weaving cooperative works with what is locally available and only what can be sustainably sourced, to produce beautiful baskets which are 100% Kenyan made, and ethically produced. All cow hide bag tags, straps, and basket labels are made from leather sourced as a by-product of the food industry. Natural dyes come from pounded roots, bark and vegetables of the region, whilst all synthetic dyes are sustainably sourced.
From the Kamba tribe to the camel-herding Ariaal pastoralists of Northern Kenya, you can read more about the lives of the Kenyan weavers we work with - and the wonderful baskets they produce - below.