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Behind the Basket

Here at Mandinka Home Shop, we value transparency and are committed to doing our part to promote social responsibility. All of our products are handcrafted by local artists in multiple countries across the African continent.

Throughout our process, we maintain constant communication with our partners, artisans, and shoppers. This allows us to uplift our global community and ensure that every member of our tribe has access to the resources they need. 

When you scroll through social media and see images of our baskets, you may think they’re just pieces of home decor. However, they represent so much more than that.

 

Behind every basket, there’s a story waiting to be told. Keep reading to learn more about the journey.

 

Nene basket

Our Néné Three Piece Nesting Baskets are created by local women in rural Kenya. These durable baskets are handcrafted using sisal, an agave plant. While the plant initially grows as a waxy, green plant - it transforms into a beige, rope-like material during harvest. After the sisal is harvested, they are hand-dyed with natural ingredients.

Sisal before and after harvest

Once the strands are dry, our artisans work together to craft them into the baskets you know and love. As the Earth continues to experience the repercussions of climate change, we are doing our part by promoting sustainable practices. 

 

When we think of our Oversized Laundry Hamper, one word comes to mind: community. We collaborated with Peace Corps to employ a cohort of over 100 Wolof women in Senegal. These hardworking women craft each basket with traditional techniques that have been passed down for generations. By working with Peace Corps, we are able to share this handiwork in over 31 states and three continents – providing these women with access to the global market. 

 

Made in Tanzania, the Deta Milulu Reed Baskets represent new opportunities. These versatile baskets are produced in partnership with Vikapu Bomba, an organization that is dedicated to providing a sustainable income for Tanzanian women.

According to US Aid, women and children make up the most marginalized and underutilized communities in the country. By employing local women, they are provided with the tools to achieve financial independence. Vikapu Bomba grants artisans access to premium markets where they are able to earn fair wages for their products and provide for their families. 

Each basket tells the story of renewal: creating new opportunities for women and practicing eco-friendly tactics to reverse generations of environmental damage. Again, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the members of our tribe. And that includes you! 

 

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