KUTUA: Handwoven Blue Check Bucket Bag
The KUTUA woven bucket bag is literally one-of-a-kind: woven by a member of Kenya’s highly creative Kamba tribe, working within a cooperative. Sporting exquisite bands of blue checkered in a vibrant geometric design, the colourful wool used to create this drawstring bag comes from second hand jumpers.
The weavers design each basket bag themselves, choosing patterns and colourways of their own preference. Baskets take up to four days to weave, and weaving work typically takes place in lulls between farming, housework, childcare and social events. Basket weaving has become a vital source of additional income to these people, whose livelihoods otherwise depend on the unpredictable nature of agricultural work.
Featuring beautiful leather shoulder straps and a drawstring top closure with leather tassels, KUTUA is the ultimate festival bag. Once weaving is complete, each bag in this collection is taken to a local tannery where cow hide shoulder straps are produced and attached by artisan leatherworkers. Sustainable through and through, KUTUA’s brass bead rivets are made from recycled and sand-casted scrap metal: an income source for artisans living in the Kawangware slums of Nairobi.
These drawstring bags are inspired by Kenyan kiondo baskets, which were originally woven by mothers as wedding gifts to their daughters. Once a dying craft, today kiondo weaving is experiencing a revival that you can become a part of.
Material: SISAL & RECYCLED WOOL (NATURAL & SYNTHETIC) LEATHER STRAPS
Dimensions: Bottom Diameter: 20cm x Height: 26cm
Leather used is a by-product of the food industry.
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.