At the core of THE BASKET ROOM are the artisans that weave our baskets, we aim to work as closely as possible with the communities to ensure our business meets fair trade principles. We are currently working with small, local groups in Africa and aim to establish long lasting relationships with them. As we begin our journey, we will be evaluating and developing our commitment to the groups as we continue to grow with them. Our orders support their livelihoods and provide a steady income in what otherwise is a harsh working environment. We pay a fair and asking price for our baskets and are planning to invest profits back into the weaving communities to improve living and working conditions.
TRACEABILITY & SUPPLY CHAIN
It is very important for us to know where our baskets are made, and by whom, and to be able to pass this information onto our customers. This is why we are working towards a supply chain that will be fully traceable back to the community and weaver of each basket. At present, we are able to supply the name and photograph of the weaver who made our sisal baskets and the name of the weaver who made our bike baskets. This will be integrated into each supply chain as we continue to develop and grow.
PROTECTING CRAFT SKILLS
THE BASKET ROOM is built upon a love for craft, textiles and art, and a desire to protect these industries in a very modernising world. Basket weaving has been practised since the beginning of mankind, as soon as humans figured out that reeds could be intertwined, they began to experiment with them. It is an age old tradition that is typically passed down through generations, from Grandmother to Granddaughter, an art that is learned and developed over one's life. Different areas of Africa have varying native plants, so the design & technique in a basket will take on the identity of the country it was made, making baskets a integral part of history and culture in Africa.
Baskets generally tend to be made from natural materials: from sisal plants, to grasses & plant leaves, meaning they are a very sustainable product. The small communities who weave our baskets will often have their own small plantations, and will grow, farm and harvest their crops before preparing for weaving. Some, like the Ghanaian baskets are made from a grass that is not cultivated, but grows wild in the Sahel Savanna. Dyes, where possible are natural, made with colours extracted from vegetables or from the barks of trees. We also seek to use recycled materials in our baskets, such as wool from old jumpers.
Packaging can be a real source of waste, so we endeavour to use as little as possible in the transportation of the baskets from Africa to the Uk and from our office to your door. Where possible we will use recycled products, such as cardboard boxes, paper bags, and printer ink. We are always looking at new ways to make our business greener and hope to bring more recycled elements to the process.