MALKIA: True Blue Wool and Sisal Tote Bag
Midnight blue stripes make a bold statement on this beautiful, handwoven basket bag. The perfect size for days out and trips to the gym, beach and market, you’ll be waging war on plastic when you opt for one of our ethically handwoven totes.
Made by a member of a women’s weaving co-operative in the greater Lower Eastern region of Kenya, each basket bag takes up to a week to complete, depending on the preferred workload and pace of the weaver. The magic art of basketry takes place in and around other household chores, church, childcare and farming duties. Once completed, these sisal bags are sent to a local tannery where cow hide shoulder straps are produced and attached by artisan leatherworkers. All leather used is a by-product of the food industry and otherwise destined for landfill.
During the dry seasons, farming communities often struggle to produce and sell enough crop to meet their family’s basic needs. In weaving and selling our basket bags, women are empowered to support their families more comfortably, making the money they need to pay school fees and put food on the table.
If you’d like to learn more about the wonderful women behind your basket bag, you can meet the weavers here.
Material: Sisal and Yarn (Synthetic), Leather Straps
Dimensions: 35cmW X 30cmH approx (width is measured at the widest part of the bag)
Strap Length: 29cm approx
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.