SAFI: Natural Storage Baskets
The weavers who produce these natural undyed storage baskets use them in their own homes for keeping meal staples such as maize, potatoes and onions in, and they’re also used for carrying gifts to weddings. These ethical baskets also make beautiful woven planters and can be put to use all over the home for keeping toiletries, cooking utensils and even baby supplies tidy.
This SAFI basket was woven by a skilled craftswoman working within a small weaving collective in the Iringa region of Tanzania. As is the case with most basket weavers in Africa, the art of weaving has usually been passed down the family line, though these Tanzanian weavers are also regularly trained in product development and new weaving techniques. Small SAFI baskets take around a week to complete, due to the extremely tight weave required. Larger baskets can take three weeks.
The versatile milulu grasses used to produce these woven storage baskets can be found locally in swamps and riverbeds, but they’re also grown specifically for basket weaving by some cooperatives. The income that weavers earn from selling their woven baskets helps with families’ school fees and medical bills as well as home improvements and acquisition of livestock and poultry – since most weavers are farmers first and foremost. During the dry seasons, weaving takes precedence and helps stem the gap in earnings that many families suffer.
The collective we partner with to produce these baskets supports a group of lead artisans who recruit and train weavers in their communities whilst training in quality control, bookkeeping, logistics and communication. We’re so excited to be working with this flourishing group.
The impact of these beautiful baskets is exponential. Weaving brings a constant income stream to these women: a sustainable alternative to the unpredictable farming livelihoods many relied on before weaving. Basket weaving enables these women to budget for family life in a more sustainable way: buying uniform, paying school fees, paying family medical bills and putting money way in savings for unforeseen expenses and emergencies. Some weavers also use their basket weaving earnings to purchase solar panels for charging household appliances and phones. A number of weavers from this group have invested some of their weaving income in small-scale agricultural enterprises as a secondary source of income.
Material: MILULU GRASS
S: 19-21cm D | 19-21cm H
M: 25-27cm D | 25-27cm H
L: 32-34cm D | 32-34cm H
Please note, as this is a handmade product, dimensions & colour may vary from those shown in the photographs.
HANDMADE IN TANZANIA
Our Tanzanian woven baskets make use of the country’s versatile milulu grass and celebrate the extraordinary weaving skills found amongst the people working within its network of village cooperatives. These fair trade baskets represent true sustainable style and ethical production.
These weavers – and all the weavers we partner with - are paid a fair and pre-agreed price for each basket they produce for us. The individual, depending on their skillsets and their availability for work, can choose their own volumes of work. Being able to work from home means that weavers – mainly women - can fit weaving in with their existing jobs and chores, and no income is lost travelling to sell at markets where haggling can reduce earnings considerably. Working as part of a weaving cooperative means that the business comes to them, and regular training is given so that the group can keep abreast of market trends, and stay competitive.
These woven baskets are familiar utility items in Tanzanian homes, woven to hold foodstuffs primarily. They find their place all over the modern home, bringing bags of ethical style and natural beauty to the kitchen or bathroom, living room, the utility room and the playroom.
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Safi natural storage basket
I bought 2 of these and they look beautiful in my hallway while storing our winter hats and gloves. Excellent service.
The Basket Room
Thank you for your review and shopping at The Basket Room! We'd love to see your new baskets in situ!