With its striking black and white cloud design, BARA is a completely Kenyan-made basket bag that’s perfect for shopping trips, days lazing at the beach, and travelling.
Woven meticulously by a member of the weaving co-operative in the greater Lower Eastern region of Kenya from locally sourced sisal, each tote takes up to a week to complete. Traditional weaving techniques are passed down the generations from grandmothers to mothers to granddaughters, and this skilful weaving is performed between daily domestic chores and crop farming duties: basket bags are carried around with the weavers so that weaving can be done here and there, and whenever there is time to sit for a while. Most of our African woven bags have therefore travelled to Church, to the river to draw water, to the shops and to all manner of community events before making their final journey to you.
Seven balls of sisal twine are used to create one of our summer tote bags, and the leatherwork is completed in a Kenyan workshop using cow hide sourced as a by-product of the food industry. Our black powder dye comes from Nairobi, and meets restricted chemical requirements.
The women in the weaving cooperative mainly come from farming families - reliant largely on the production of their crops as a source of income - though during times of drought they can struggle to produce enough harvest. Weaving provides an alternative income for these women and their families, generating money to pay for school fees and food, but also bringing empowerment. It is this age-old tradition that The Basket Room is working to protect.
Each basket bag comes with a thank you card from the weaving co-operative that made yours. Want to know more about the people behind the baskets? Meet the weavers here.
MATERIAL: SISAL & LEATHER
Dimensions: W45cm x H29cm (width is measured at widest part of bag)
Strap Length: 29cm
Leather used is a by-product of the food industry
FAIR TRADE & HANDMADE IN KENYA