CHOMBO: Sunny Yellow Wool and Sisal Tote Bag
With its cheerful of stripes of yellow pop and its contrasting lavender base, CHOMBO is a basket bag of ice cream dreams. Perfect for taking to work and the gym, the market, summer festivals or the beach, this pastel-coloured tote was woven by a member of a family-run weaving group in the Eastern Region of Kenya.
The Basket Room partners with a network of twelve Kenyan weaving groups - with over thirty weavers in each group – to produce these colourful woven totes. Weaving each basket bag can take up to six days: this is work that fits in conveniently with weavers’ other domestic chores, childcare and farming. These yarn and sisal bags are then sent to a Nairobi-based leather workshop that we work closely with, where cow hide shoulder straps are produced and attached by skilled leatherworkers.
Basket weaving is a craft that connects generations in Kenya, passed from grandmothers to mothers to daughters all over the country. In producing these woven totes, the women in this craft group are empowered to support their families with a reliable additional income – and work that is fair, creative, sociable and flexible.
Material: SISAL & LEATHER HANDLES
Dimensions: 35cm W X 30cm H approx (width is measured at the widest part of the bag)
Strap Length: 29cm approx"
If you need a specific size please let us know prior to placing your order.
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.