USIKU: Coal Black Woven Storage Basket
Charcoal black and hand woven in Kenya, the bold USIKU range of storage baskets comes in three set sizes. You can use our smaller baskets as flower pots or desk tidies, whilst or medium and larger sizes are perfect as large planters for your indoor plants. These woven storage baskets can be put to good use all over the home from the kitchen to the bathroom to the fireside. For more basket inspiration, see our uses page HERE.
The Basket Room is proud to work with weaving cooperatives in several rural corners of Africa. The women behind our baskets have woven from a young age: this meticulous, age-old craft is traditionally passed along the female line, from grandmothers to mothers to daughters. Where once the weavers in this group used to have to travel to Nairobi to sell their woven baskets, today The Basket Room places regular and fairly-paid orders with this most adept group, and completed baskets are stored in purpose-built mud huts. Sisal grass is sourced ready-rolled when orders come in, and is hand-dyed in large vats before a traditional twining method is used to produce each basket.
Bringing together all the values working with these cooperatives helps women to support their families with a fair and flexible income in the dry seasons, where subsistence farming often fails to meet the family’s needs. Buy one of our woven baskets and you actively support these weavers’ livelihoods, and our commitment to female advancement. Each woven basket is supplied with a thank you card from the weaving cooperative, and you can meet the weavers HERE.
Material: SISAL & BRANDED LEATHER TAB
M: 20-23cm DIA x 20-23cm H
L: 30-33cm DIA x 30-33cm H
If you need a specific size please let us know prior to placing your order.
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.