MWANZO: Orange and Pink Colour Block Shopper
This is a leather and plastic-free zone! New for 2020 and designed exclusively by The Basket Room, the MWANZO colour block basket bag is 100% Kenyan and totally vegan. We’ve swapped out cowhide leather straps for pure, twisted sisal ones, making this woven shopper an ultimately ethical choice.
These baskets are handwoven by a small collective of female weavers living near the Masinga Dam in Kenya – one of seven dams on the River Tana. Their chairlady started managing basket production in 1993, and today she leads several groups with specific production roles from twisting to dyeing and weaving sisal fibres.
Our work with weaving cooperatives empowers women to support their families with a flexible income in the dry seasons, where subsistence farming often fails to meet the needs of the family. When you take home one of our woven baskets you actively support these weavers and their families, supporting our commitment to dignified working conditions. You can see the weavers who produce these baskets HERE.
Dimensions: W45cm x H30cm approx (width is measured at the widest part of the bag)
Strap Length: 27cm approx
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.