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Swahili African Modern

February 29, 2016

Handmade, fair trade beauty

We welcome Swahili African Modern to our Fair Trade Galleries.  The company operates from a small warehouse in the Pacific Northwest, but its network spans the globe. Founded over 20 years ago by Leslie Mittelberg, the company develops long-term relationships and handcrafted products directly with artisans in Africa. Working in Africa presents challenges, but Swahili African Modern thrives on creative problem solving as well as inspired design. These gorgeous baskets are environmentally responsible, made with sustainable and recycled materials.


Bolga Baskets 

These handled "market baskets" are woven in the Bolgatanga region of Ghana (colloquially known as Bolga) using traditional techniques that have been used for many generations. The tough fiber of elephant grass makes these baskets durable and water-resistant. Because the soil around Bolgatanga is not fertile enough to sustain agriculture, the people of the region rely upon handcrafted products to supplement their income. 

Lidded African Baskets

These versatile baskets are hand-woven by Wolof craftswomen in rural Senegal. The weavers use  local grasses, cattail stalks, and salvaged plastic strips to create these functional and beautiful pieces. With simple care, each basket can last for decades. Larger baskets can be used as laundry hampers. 

Outdoor Basket Market in Senegal:


Little Traveler
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