Stitch by Stitch - Contemporary handmade textiles from India & Nepal

Contemporary handmade soft furnishings from India & Nepal

Yajibelena - Baskets for Life

Karen Sear ShimaliComment
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I recently discovered these wonderfully colourful wastepaper baskets by Yajibelena at Skandium.  Not only are they beautiful, but I was delighted to discover, they're produced in Burkina Faso as part of a self-help initiative set up by Danish basket weaver Eva Seidenfaden.

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After visiting the country 10 years ago, Eva decided to use her passion for basket weaving to help the local women, who are all skilled in traditional basket-weaving techniques, to make a sustainable living for themselves and their families.  This gives the women an alternative to low paid hard labour in one of Africa's poorest countries.

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"It has taken a number of years to get all details in order and the production and selling chain working, and now it is a self sustaining, working business"  Eva says.  The project has created high quality products which are produced on budget and delivered on time.

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As well as the wastepaper baskets designed and sold exclusively at Skandium, the women weave shopping baskets and bicycle baskets which are sold in local African markets and in Denmark.  50 women have produced over 3000 baskets so far.  The designs are based on a number of original Danish basket designs, but each weaver chooses the design they wish to work with, and adds their own patterns and colours.

Each basket sold pays a days wage for the maker - equal to that of a local bricklayer.

The wastepaper baskets are exclusive to Skandium, and are available online and in store at £49 each.

Thank you to Skandium for all images.