JOTO: Handwoven Blue, Brown and Yellow Wool Tote Bag
A gorgeous woollen basket bag with a blue, brown and yellow design, JOTO is hand woven by a member of the Kamba tribe in Kenya out of the yarn from second hand woolly jumpers. Each one of our Nifty Knit Basket Bags is unique, so there’s only one JOTO available. Once it’s sold, it’s sold out!
Originally woven by mothers as wedding gifts to their daughters, these African baskets – also known as kiondos - take extraordinary skill to produce, and up to six days to complete. The baskets are then sent to a leading local leather works to be finished with cow-hide shoulder straps. Kiondo weaving was a diminishing craft in Kenya until very recently: in 2004 only four craftswomen in the weaving cooperative had the experience to produce them, but today there are around fifty active members reviving this wonderful craft.
To own one of our unique wool bags is to become a part of our journey: a finely woven tale of ethics, beauty and craftsmanship. We are proud to support the weavers in this sustainable trade, providing an additional source of income for farming families during the dry seasons. Each ethical basket bag is supplied with a thank you card from the weaving cooperative, and you can meet the weavers HERE.
Material: SISAL & RECYCLED WOOL (NATURAL & SYNTHETIC) LEATHER STRAPS
Dimensions: 40cmW X 30cmH approx (width is measured at the widest part of the 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.
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.