We work in East Africa along the Swahili Coast. Our partner artisans are located in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Explore where our products are made below!
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
All of our Sandals and Beaded Leather Cuffs are handcrafted at the Swahili Coast Cooperative in Tanzania. All of the artisans at the Swahili Coast Cooperative are part-owners and receive fair wages for their work. We operate at above fair trade standards. The Sandals and Beaded Leather Cuffs are crafted using traditional techniques. The beads are strung onto a fishing line which is then stitched onto natural leather, creating beautiful, modern designs.
Our Kenya Collection Brass Jewelry is hand-tooled at a cooperative in Kibera--one of the largest slums in Africa, located in Nairobi. All of the jewelry is made from recycled brass with accents of horn and bone. Thanks to the cooperative, these artisans have the economic mobility to move out of the slum. Remarkably, they have decided to stay, to continue lifting up their community.
Our Kenyan Beach Towels are loomed in Nairobi, Kenya by fairly-paid artisans. They are crafted from a cloth called kikoy, which is traditionally worn as a sarong by fishermen along the Swahili Coast. We add a lightweight terrycloth lining and a pocket--perfect for stashing your wallet or cell phone while you go for a dip.
Swahili Coast's mission is to connect the incredible artistry and talents of East African Artisans to global markets using principles of fairness, dignity and respect. We strive to support the creation of worker owned cooperatives and provide continuing support through fair exchange and promotion of workers rights in the East Africa region. We commit to help tend the garden of social change planted by the proud women of East Africa long ago.
• Leave the world better than we found it
• Show that business can be a force for positive social change
• Develop opportunities for women with fair wages and stable work
• Empower women who shape and continue beadwork traditions
• Bring traditional East African women's craftsmanship to the global stage
• Collaborate cross-culturally with respect
• Rebuke the history of colonialism
• Decolonize American perceptions of Africa
• Promote transparency and fairness
Each Swahili Coast product starts right here in our Wilmington studio!
Our Creative Director leads the process, designing original products to be handmade in East Africa.
We share the designs with our partners in East Africa. Tony, our Swahili-speaking Production Director, travels to East Africa to work directly with the artisan team--matching our vision with handmade, quality craftsmanship.
Our products are hand-cut, hand-beaded, hand-tooled, and hand-sewn by our skilled artisan partners.
Everything is made ethically in safe environments by fairly-paid artisans.
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