With the support of local charity, Gone Rural, the weavers behind these beautiful fair trade baskets and bowls are trained in various handcrafts using the traditional techniques and the raw materials locally available to them. Promoting local crafts in this way protects livelihoods and helps build viable income channels for future generations.
Gone Rural buys the lutindzi grasses from local harvesting communities and prepares it in their workshop using eco-friendly dyes, fuel-efficient burners and non-indigenous wood. The grass is then dried, weighed and bundled up before being distributed amongst the weaving communities along with basket designs so that the weavers can start their work with everything they need. Grass deliveries and orders arrive monthly on a rolling basis so that the weavers have a steady stream of reliable work, and three weeks after grass deliveries an informal market day is held in the mountains, where the production team returns to purchase finished baskets. Many artisans assemble here monthly to sell their wares: everything from baked goods to second-hand clothes and home-grown vegetables, as well as these woven baskets.
This organisation runs vital programmes to support the weavers, their families and their communities: many mothers credit basket weaving initiatives for paying their children’s school fees, and some communities have had boreholes drilled with the proceeds from their work after wages have been paid.
Shop the Swazi Hills collection here.