MWELEKEO: Handwoven Green and Red Wool Tote Bag
Brought to you by the most skilled and expressive weavers of the Kenyan Kamba tribe, your MWELEKEO is a unique creation. This basket bag boasts vibrant tones of green and red and is woven out of the yarn from upcycled woolly jumpers.
The weavers regularly visit ‘gikombas’ (clothes markets) to select and purchase second-hand jumpers, which are then washed and unravelled into separate balls of coloured wool. Basket bags take up to four days to finish before being sent to a local tannery to have their cow-hide shoulder straps fitted.
Known officially as Kiondos (kee-yon/-doh) in rural Kenyan communities, these tribal pattern baskets were once woven by mothers as wedding gifts for their daughters – both practical and beautiful. Kiondo weaving was a dying art until only recently, with only a few elders still practising the craft. Today, these beautiful baskets are experiencing a revival in their new guise as versatile and unique shoulder bags.
You become a sponsor of this ethical craft when you bring home one of our woollen kiondo baskets - you also become an important part of our journey to support Kenyan weavers. Our basket orders provide flexible and fairly paid work for the Kamba weavers, whose primary incomes rely on farming. Each woven basket bag is supplied with a thank you card from the weaving cooperative, and you can meet the weavers HERE.
Material: SISAL & RECYCLED WOOL (NATURAL & SYNTHETIC) LEATHER STRAPS
Dimensions: 40cmW 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
The weavers are our life force - the sheer spirit of THE BASKET ROOM and the raw talent behind every fair trade basket we sell. Every woven basket has been worked on exclusively by one weaver, and each basket is their very own work of art before it becomes yours. Woven meticulously over a number of days, your basket has accompanied its creator on their daily errands from home to field to farm, enabling the weavers to earn a precious second income without having to give up their other jobs and responsibilities.
We’ve searched far and wide to partner up with the most remarkable artisans and networks of weaving cooperatives in Africa. We’re proud and privileged to regularly spend time with them all - getting to know the people, the raw materials and the harvesting, dyeing and weaving processes, first-hand.
The weavers take centre stage. These are their stories. Listen and share.
Where Are The Baskets Made?