Sisal is a natural fiber derived from the leaves of Agave Sisalana, a plant native to Mexico whose cultivation is now widespread in East Africa. Like the plant from which it is made, sisal is also a strong and resistant material: traditionally, it is used to make ropes, baskets and woven bags.
Sisal processing is a traditional technique of Kenya and Tanzania, where it is still done by hand. It is the women who collect the agave leaves, decorticate and dye them, and then create, by rolling it on their knees, a fiber that has the rough appearance of string: sisal. Then, coming together, they weave sisal to create baskets and bags.
ENDELEA AND HADITHI
Our sisal bags are made by Hadithi, an association that supports more than 1,800 women in rural villages in Kenya, in the area between the Tsavo East National Park and the Tsavo West National Park. In an area where the economy is based on agriculture, but where farming is difficult due to the climatic conditions, Hadithi supports different groups of women, helping them develop their skills, improve the quality of their products and ensure wider sales network.
THE ROUGH BEAUTY OF SISAL
We have chosen sisal for its natural appearance, to support an African ethical reality, but also because it makes us think of the markets along the roads of Africa, while the interweaving of the fiber reminds us of the interweaving of stories of which we too are part.