MTO: Blue Striped Bread Basket
The lovely Mto bread basket was hand-woven and hand-dyed in rural Kenya from indigenous sisal grass. Its maker? An extremely creative craftswoman working within a cooperative in Kenya’s rural Coastal Region. This skilled group produces unique woven bread baskets of their own designs and colourways, so each one is a one-off and once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Basket weaving is a progressive, income-generating craft form, and one that you support directly through purchasing with The Basket Room. With crops suffering in the dry season and the droughts going on for longer, basket weaving helps women to make up the shortfall and pay school fees, buy food, replace their children’s uniforms, and much more. Working as part of a cooperative, everyone is paid a wage, and thus empowered to support themselves and their families more reliably throughout the year.
Use yours woven bread basket for sliced loaves or fruit, avocadoes or cutlery and napkins. Each unique woven basket comes with a little information about the cooperative who made yours - meet the weavers from this region HERE.
Please note, as this is a handmade product, dimensions & colour may vary from those shown in the photographs.
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.