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March 15, 2017

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Stocking Up on Ostrich Plant Holders

Swahili Modern Blog and News

We began carrying small plant holders earlier this year and have not been able to keep up with demand! This week we are in Kenya picking up a new shipment of these beautiful birds.

Ostrich Plant HoldersAfrican Metal OstrichesAfrican Metal Ostrich Plant Holder Sculptures

February 21, 2017

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2017 › Fair Trade ›


The Use (and Misuse) of the Term "Fair Trade"

Swahili Modern Blog and News

The FTF published an excellent article about the term "fair trade." Please check it out at: http://www.fairtradefederation.org/fair-trade-a-movement-for-all/?utm_source=True+Fair+Trade%3A+A+Movement+for+All

Fair Trade

In the past few months, the term "fair trade" has been grossly misused by politicians for their own gains. The misuse of this term, which fair trade organizations have been long dedicated to defining, is deeply concerning to the global handmade community.

What is fair trade? According to the FTF, "fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system." Fair trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. These producers often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods." 

Swahili Modern is proud to be a fair trade company and part of the Fair Trade Federation. We support the FTF's message of strength and unity during this time of marginalization and political upset.

 

January 31, 2017

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2017 › Baskets ›


Featured on DecorPad

Swahili Modern Blog and News

We love Alyssa Rosenheck's display of our White African Knitting Basket on DecorPad, especially the color palette and use of baskets within furniture.

DecorPad

These versatile, solid-white baskets just arrived in a container from Senegal and are available for purchase. They do sell out quickly!

January 12, 2017

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Mali ›


Spotted! Malian Jewelry in Pop Culture

Swahili Modern Blog and News

We were delighted to see large fulani earrings on actress Tiffany Haddish in the movie Keanu

African Fulani Earrings from Mali

This gorgeous style of earring has made a comeback in recent years and has consistently been one of our best sellers.

The earrings have a rich tradition in Mali where they were traditionally worn by women as a display of wealth. Today, the earrings retain the same chunky, rustic design and are hung on hand-formed earwire.

We have recently worked with some fantastic jewelry designers in Mali to produce the earrings in different materials and designs, such as these new Sterling Silver Twirl Earrings.   

African Mali Fulani Earrings

November 13, 2016

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2016 › Senegal ›


Boat Ride In Senegal

We are traveling throughout Senegal this week and wanted to share some pics of our suppliers there. 

Senegal

This is Fatima who is recently married to Max (below). Max is our main manager for our basket ladies. We have been working with Max for years and have a great relationship.

 Travel Senegal

More pics to come soon!

August 08, 2016

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2016 › Mali ›


Virtual Mudcloth Creation

Swahili Modern Blog and News

The Smithsonian is featuring an African Voices exhibit and has created a fun, interactive widget for creating your own bogolanfini, also known as Malian mudcloth. 

Click on the top right of the widget to make your own design. Fun!

http://naturalhistory.si.edu/africanvoices/mudcloth/index_flash.html

Use of African Mudcloth in Designer Pillows

Swahili Modern Blog and News

We were recently delighted to see a piece of our Malian mudcloth transformed into gorgeous pillows by Ginny McDonald, who curates and designs textiles to sell to stores and individual designers.

African mudcloth

Ginny immediately recognized the unique quality of this one-of-a-kind mudcloth, which features a mustard dye and hand-painted dots. As a designer in Southern California, Ginny noted that the market is "flooded with Mali cloth, especially all the indigos and graphic designs."

Malian Mudcloth

We hope to work with Ginny on future projects and suggest that you view her beautiful creations on her Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/tricot_naturelle/

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