Safi Natural Basket

The Basket Room


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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 as part of a network of village cooperatives in 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.

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.

Basket sales are organised by cooperative committee members and profits are reinvested for the benefit of the weavers’ communities and to enhance the basket weaving business model. Communities have purchased amenities like solar lighting, kerosene lamps, land, warehouses and raw materials for producing further baskets with the profits accrued through basket sales.

Buying The Basket Room baskets and bags helps ensure that daughters and granddaughters will continue to weave, and continue to benefit from the fair wages and dignified working conditions that come from working within a cooperative.

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