Much More Than a Basket
There’s more than meets the eye with our Alaffia Authentic African Handwoven Baskets. Weaving the baskets is highly collaborative with multiple co-op and collective partners. Baskets are woven with wild-harvested Savannah grass—panicum or elephant grass—from the Blitta collective in Togo. Grass collection is a critical part of the crafting process for handwoven baskets. A source of income for Blitta, this wild-harvested grass grows in wetter areas and is used for the baskets. Not suitable for livestock, it's often used to thatch roofs and to make matts. Alaffia is directly connected on the ground with Blitta and the community was a recipient of bikes from our Bicycle Empowerment Project.
Pictured: With Blitta Collective members inspecting panicum grass.
The baskets are woven in Bolgatanga, Ghana in 12 villages with more than 5,000 women basket weavers who are organized into co-ops. The Alaffia weavers work independently. Alaffia places an order and pays 90% of the cost of the basket upfront to each of the weavers.
Pictured: The weaving process.
The weavers craft the baskets in their own homes, and Alaffia collects the baskets once they are completed. This flexibility gives the weaver the ability to work at a pace that is convenient for her, her farm, family and social community duties.
Just like our sustainable beauty products, a portion of basket sales are reinvested back in our West African cooperatives. Our work in these communities has provided potable water year-round for weavers in Sumbrungu Atampure and Shirigu, near Bolgatanga.
Pictured: Weaver artisans in Ghana.
Each basket is unique and signed by the weaver. These sustainable, eco-friendly baskets are available in five styles and perfect for picking fruits or flowers, carrying groceries, or for a day at the beach. It’s truly a joy to work with these extraordinary collectors and weavers and share their beautiful art with the world.
Pictured: Alaffia Authentic African Market Baskets.