Our Producers

All our fair trade producers are from Kenya and Uganda. We work with small fair trade workshops and individual artisans. We know each and every one of our producers and in most cases their families too!

Our producers are our motivation; inspiring us with beautiful unique products and a resilience to the hardships they have faced on their journeys to improve their livelihoods through fair trade.

Xcel Concepts, Kibera Slum, Nairobi, Kenya

Ishmail and Joseph, Xcel Concepts

Xcel project has been our biggest challenge and greatest learning curve to date, from ensuring quality and safety within the workshop to working in one of Africa’s poorest places. Getting to know the community and individuals has been rewarding and at times heart breaking. From where we started this workshop has been a great success now exporting to customers in Canada, America and Australia. Vincent and Ishmael now own and run the project.

A Word From Helen!

I think one of the greatest challenges with fair trade is ensuring long term business for the workshop you are trading with. We have worked with this group since 2006. We have worked hard with the help of some of our customers, for example Shared Earth, to develop new products and designs with Xcel.

Zakale Creations, Mathare Slum, Nairobi, Kenya

mathare-slum

In 2001 John set up Zakale Creations. The Project is located in Huruma, which is part of Mathare Valley. The slum population is approx. 8,000 with a very high unemployment rate (approx. 80%). The people who live here have many problems including poor housing, lack of basic facilities, including water, roads etc. and lack of education. The ‘drop out’ from Primary School is very high and few complete their Primary School education.

A Word From Helen!

I love the colourful, fun and recycled range of jewellery and ornaments that Zakale Creations make. Visiting their workshop is great, and gives me a chance to get involved in design! The range of beads they use is massive, with John sourcing from West Africa to Asia.

Three Sisters, Jinja, Uganda

Three Sisters Uganda

Three Sisters is a woman’s group based in Jinja, Uganda. Irene started the group as a way to improve her income after she was left widowed, and alone with young children. She is also the main carer of her sister’s children. Her idea was to create an income generating project which provided an income for woman who are the main or sole earners in their families. When the group have large orders they work with rural based woman whom they have trained in making the recycled paper beads.

A Word From Helen!

The quality of work they produce is fantastic and we love the new range of paper purses they have created. The time and effort put into each purse is amazing – a very unique new product that we love!

Art Safi Self Help Group, Kisii

Art Safi

Zuri Design started buying soapstone from the Charles Ombasa and his cousins’ business in 2003. The cousins are from Kisii which is in the western highlands of Kenya. Kisii is the region where most of the world’s supply of soapstone originates.

A Word From Helen!

Our biggest selling range is soapstone. It is a beautiful and tactile stone. The skill of the carvers and artisans is incredible especially when you see first hand the hand held tools used. When I visit Kisii I am struck by the poverty despite it exporting so much soapstone around the world. The middlemen are making profits while the producers struggle.

Zingira Nyanza Community Craft

Evance

Zingira Nyanza Community Crafts is a community based organisation based in Kisumu, Western Kenya. They co-ordinate the efforts of local artisans to produce a range of handcraft products made from recycled and locally sourced materials. They use many recycled materials including water hyacinth – a weed which is overtaking many parts of Lake Victoria.

A Word From Helen!
They work with people of both genders from 18 years old and upwards. There are currently 20 artisans working in the organisation. Some of the tin used is reject Coca Cola tin sheets which come from a manufacturing plant in Somalia. It’s good to see some use made of Coca Cola’s rubbish!

Content

Wholesale Registration