Thursday, April 04 2019
These striking African baskets are handmade in Swaziland. Weaving skills have been handed down for generations in Swaziland from mother to daughter. Baskets woven traditionally were functional for food bowls and had no colour, colour is a recent introduction. Basket weaving has recently become an artistic medium, increasingly motivated by aesthetics and reflects a new level of sophistication and expertise
This gorgeous woven African basket is made from sisal fibres The sisal plant is used because of its strength. The fibre is harvested, dried, hand dyed and then made into a thin coil by being rolled against the weaver's leg becaue of this long process these are one of the most labour intensive of all African baskets for their size.
Tuesday, January 01 2019
These re-usable lunchbags are the perfect way to identify your lunch in the office fridge, that's if you can keep these gorgeous oil cloth lunch bags for yourself and they don't end up taking lunch to school with the kids!
Made from Mexican oilcloth these brightly coloured oilcloth lunch bags are the ideal way to brighten up your day The lunch bags are easily wiped clean, they fit over a standard sized lunch box and fold over and close with a Velcro seal
The Mexican oilcloth used for these lunch-bags is a traditional fabric you probably remember as a brightly coloured cloth on your Grans kitchen table. It’s a highly durable, fade resistant, stain resistant and it simply wipes clean. The lunch bags are also available with insulation. Just perfect for those hot summer days.
Thursday, November 01 2018
Ecofriendly Christmas Gifts
More and more people are looking to find a way of celebrating Christmas in a way that is simpler and environmentally frendly. There are so many amazing products made from recycled materials such as the bowls made from recycled paper that its easy to find products that are sustainable
There are a growing number of thoughtful consumers who are looking for unique, ecofriendly gifts, gifts that last and gifts that do no harm to planet and people, green gifts such as these flowers made from recycled material are not only delightful they are fair-trade so the people who make them benfit from the sale of the products.
For a more practical gift you cant go past the traditional string bags. They are strong, stylish, sustainably made and a great way to replace plastic bags.
Tuesday, September 18 2018
Many people are now choosing to buy sustainable, ethical and upcycled products. Luckily there is now a fantastic range of eco products available for all tastes and ages.
An ecofriendly gift idea for men is these upcycled wallets. Made from recycled tyres the wallets are not only stylish they are strong and waterproof.
Amazing sculptures made from upcycled flip-flops are another brilliant eco gift idea. These brilliantly coloured hand carved animals are drawing attention to the problem of marine pollution.
A lovely practical gift eco gift is these bags made from upcycled sails. The inside of the bags are lined with recycled rice bags making them easy to clean and perfect for both shopping and the family picnic.
For someone who is concerned about the environment these journals are not only ecofriendly but they are helping to save elephants. Made from a mixture of upcycled paper and elephant dung paper these lovely journals are a great eco gift idea that not only do good they will bring a smile to the recipients face.
These are just a few of the eco friendly and ethically made items ithat can be found in Ethical Gifts online store
Wednesday, August 29 2018
With such striking designs and colours combined with the intricacy, accuracy and skill this craft takes these Zulu baskets never fail to impress . Each telephone wire basket is a unique, exquisite art piece.
Telephone wire basket weaving is an indigenous South African craft which has evolved from the extraordinary basket weaving skills of the Zulus. Using telephone wire to weave with was first started by night-watchmen who to allay the boredom of the long nights .
"Beginning in the late 1960's, Zulu night watchmen started weaving scraps of this wire around their traditional sticks. This new material was also applied to making izimbenge - beer pot covers - that had been traditionally made from grass and palm. Today, there is wide variety in the creative use of this wire, and, in post-Apartheid South Africa, Zulu craft artists are imbuing old forms with the colourful contemporary material of telecommunications. The result is a vibrant, distinctive new folk form gaining international attention."
Wired- Contemporary Zulu Telephone Wire Baskets. David Arment
These telephone wire baskets were woven in the subsistence farming area of KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa . No two Zulu baskets will be identical as each artisan draws on their own creativity to produce unique designs and patterns.
Wednesday, August 15 2018
Thousands of flip-flops wash up onto the East African coast each year creating an environmental disaster. The plastic flip-flop pieces do not just spoil the natural beauty of the beaches and oceans but marine creatures swallow and suffocate on them and they stop turtle hatchlings from reaching the sea. They are another man-made menace to the earths fragile ecosystems. Flip-flops are made from a combination of Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate and other plastics and they do not biodegrade. They do however photo-degrade, breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces to form part of the plastic soup plaguing our oceans.
Cheap flip-flop footwear is a common item found along Kenya’s shores as over 3 billion people world wide can only afford that type of shoe. With a lifespan of just two years the volume of discarded footwear rapidly adds up. Because of ocean currents an estimated 90 tons of flip-flops find their way to East Africa's beaches every year. Ocean Sole is turning the waste into brightly coloured sculptures, recycling as many as 400,000 flip-flops each year.
Ocean Sole arranges for the collection of the flip-flops they are then cleaned then compressed into large solid blocks then, the artists, many of whom are former woodcarvers, carve the blocks into a variety of African and marine animals.
Ocean Sole’s creative team of artisans are not only transforming discarded flip flops into colourful masterpieces, they are drawing attention to the importance of marine conservation and the damage plastic waste is doing to our oceans.
Tuesday, June 26 2018
Elephant Dung Paper Journals
How is The Paper Made
Where Is It Made
Saturday, June 09 2018
The resources on this planet will not last forever and so many materials otherwise seen as rubbish can be used to create new functional and tasteful products. Our upcycled wallets and toiletry bags are made in Australia using recycled tyre inner tubes- each item is unique and handmade.
Thursday, May 31 2018
The collection of mama and baby animals is from the talented makers of GoGo Olive in Zimbabwe. Just as mothers traditionally carry their babies tied on their back so do these sweet handmade African animal mamas.
These gorgeous mother and baby soft toys are knitted by the artisans of Gogo Olive in Zimbabwe. Shumba means lion in Shona and each mother and baby Shumba have been given a name which is attached with a swing tag along with the story behind these beautiful hand knitted toys.
Each Daddy twza, twaza means giraffe in Shona, has a different coloured jumper making each and every one of these superbly made toy giraffes unique.
Nzou means elephant in Shona and these mother elephants and babies will soon become a childs best Shamwari (friend).
Gogo Olive is an organization that was set up as a response to the huge unemployment problem in Zimbabwe. The women who make the toys are able to earn money from the sale of them to help support their families.
Monday, May 21 2018
African baskets have become a favourite among people who value unique artisan made decor items. Whether they are chosen for a traditional or contemporary home or even a commercial setting the hundreds of different designs and colours, different weaving styles and materials used mean there are baskets that appeal to all tastes and budgets. All African baskets have one thing in common they are a reflection of the cultural identity of the artisans who make them and involve highly skilled craftsmanship .
Woven baskets made from natural materials are the most familiar of African baskets. They vary in size, texture and weaving style. One of the most popular baskets are those using dried grasses skilfully woven by hand using traditional weaving skills that have been handed down from generation to generation.
In some African countries such as Rwanda, the materials are dyed in a myriad of colours before weaving. The designs are still traditional but the colours that are chosen now suit more contemporary settings. These sturdy baskets are very versatile and have many different uses such as a fruit bowl, a bowl that holds a collection of natural treasures such as little pine cones or simply as a eye focusing decor piece.
An eye catching basket that is a variation on traditional African weaving can be found in the stunning woven wire baskets for South Africa. Using traditional Zulu weaving skills but using modern materials these telephone wire baskets have evolved into a wonderful new art form. Available in many different coulours and patterns they have rapidly become the favourite of many collectors who value the creativity, skill and beauty of these baskets
Not only are African baskets a lovely addition to homes and commercial spaces the purchase of these items benefits the artisans and communities in which they are made. The sales of these baskets provide a dignified living for the weavers who often live in remote and rural areas where there is high unemployment and the sales of the baskets also ensure that these wonderful weaving skills are preserved .