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Weaving With Dignity:
The Basket Makers from Kitui

Think about this—do you know where the products in your home come from? Do you know who actually made them? The items that you see in your home every day, the items that give you pleasure—did they also bring pleasure and a little self-esteem to the maker? I’m going to venture a big no in a lot of cases. I just returned from Kenya where I visited the makers of our handmade African baskets. I’d like to tell you Margaret’s story—which is the story of thousands of men and women like her around the world.

Margaret has incredible strength and resilience and incredible talent but has always felt invisible. She’s been a (magnificent) basket weaver her entire life and has sold her baskets to companies who fly in and negotiate the best prices and fly home. Their relationship with the artist ends right then and there. Nobody knows who Margaret is. It’s the capitalist way.

But on this day when the sun was shining, I sat with her and asked her about her craft so I could share her stories with you. And she told me that she finally felt like a real person. Margaret cried as we sat together because she finally knew that she and her work mattered. She cried because someone from Canada came and saw her as a person, not as a basket (and money) making machine.

Mass consumerism is killing the planet and it’s also erasing our ability as a species to connect with one another in an authentic way.

But we can change that. You. Me. All of us.

We can live intentionally. We can buy purposefully. We can purchase only from outlets who use ethical sourcing and who actually support their makers. We can pledge to buy products that benefit the creator, not the corporation. And we can lift up the hearts of artists like Margaret around the world. We can all be connected. This is why Obakki exists. This is what we are about. Every product on our website was created by a human with a story and a purpose. I feel a duty to meet with every single artisan we work with. I want to make sure that they know they are worthy. I want to make sure that you, our customer, know their stories and understand where your purchases come from. What drives and motivates the creator… and, what their dreams are. Hint: they’re no different from yours or mine.

Artisanal Handmade Rust/Sand 18
Artisanal Handmade Rust/Sand 18
Artisanal Handmade Sand 18
Artisanal Handmade Natural/Slate 18
Artisanal Handmade 18
Artisanal Handmade 18
Artisanal Handmade 18
Artisanal Handmade 18

18" Sisal Basket | Demi

$145.00
Story

Our eco-friendly baskets are handmade by our artisan partners in Kenya using natural dyes and locally sourced sisal fiber. Whether you are using them as a storage catch-all or a woven plant pot, any way you style these baskets you’ll be adding a global flair to your space.

The women of Kitui weave baskets with soul. Whether they are widows or single mothers, for the women in this co-op weaving is their only source of income, enabling them to feed their families and send their children to school.

Details
  • MEASUREMENTS: 16" x 18”
  • MATERIALS: 100% Sisal
  • COLOUR: Natural/Sand, Rust/Sand
  • ORIGIN: Kenya
Product Care

Each basket is unique and slight variations can occur due to their handmade nature. Spot clean using minimal water and an undyed cloth to prevent colours from bleeding.

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