Back in July I introduced my collaboration with Far & Wide Collective, a Toronto-based business that partners with talented artisans in emerging and post-conflict countries to bring their handmade and beautifully-crafted products to people like you and me. Today I'm showing you four new images from the collection.
In getting to know the founder, Hedvig Alexander, I learned that most artists and craft producers have no way of getting their products into markets like Canada and the United States. With the global trend still going strong, it only makes sense to try and buy these fair-trade items in a way that actually supports the people who make them. I think we all want to move away from mindless consumption and shift towards buying fewer items of good quality that have been thoughtfully designed.
Here are some of my favourite items.
Baskets - Cobalt blue and black striped baskets - Made by women around the rural villages of Mount Kasigau in the Southern part of Kenya these baskets are woven of sisal, a plant native to the area. Along with generating income, basket weaving groups have become a place where women can socialize, exchange ideas and discuss entrepreneurship. From $79.
Towels - These multifunctional towel sets come with a bath, face, and hand towel. Made by Kara Weaves in Kerala, India, they can be used in the bathroom, as a sarong or as a scarf. Available in combinations of blue and pink. $115 for a 3-piece set.
Limited Edition Print - Created by Afghani artist Tamim Sahib Zader with crushed Lapis Lazuli and Turquoise stones this exquisitely detailed work is in the tradition of miniature painting, a practice dating back to the 13th century. $105 unframed.
Moroccan Pom Pom Blanket - Woven from 100% hand-spun wool, these blankets with their oversized pom-poms are made by the Maslouhi collective in Morocco, a group that was started by 40 women in 2013. They are the perfect way to top off your bed. 2m x 3m, $275
Otomi Pillow - This hand-embroidered 100% cotton black and white pillow is made by Cooperativa Doni Joy, a group of female artisans in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. The graphic pattern represents floral and animal shapes which are said to be inspired by drawings in nearby caves. 26" x 26", $185.
Wave Basket - These skillfully crafted one-of-a-kind baskets are handwoven by men and women in The Baba Tree collective in the town of Bolgatanga, West Ghana. Choosing, splitting and rolling the straw for one wave basket takes an entire day. It takes another day to dye the straw and four to five days to actually weave the basket. $145