Meet the weavers

Sisal Basket Weavers - Eastern Kenya

Our Colour Block sisal baskets are woven by members of one of Kenya’s largest communities of sisal weavers, founded in 1988. This group employs over 2000 women split into thirty regional groups, and is officiated by weavers themselves: a shining example of a self-sustaining business with embedded leadership. The village where this cooperative is based - some three hours from Nairobi by road - is arid and dry, and its inhabitants have struggled to survive on the production of cash crops as drought proliferates. Drought-resistant sisal and the weaving skills passed along the female bloodline for generations have become vital resources to these people.

All weaving groups reside within a day’s walking distance of the co-operative’s busy office and packed-to-the-rafters stock room, where all accounting is done and basket orders are processed. Despite its extremely rural setting, group leaders communicate with buyers by mobile phone, though e-mail access involves an hour-long journey to the nearest town.