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Summer Essentials

From sauces to shoppers, planters to accessories, make your summer special with handcrafted African fair trade products!

Color

Size

$44.00

Ghanaian artisans weave stiff elephant grass into a simple sun hat with a classic shape and braided leather string. Weavers incorporate colorful strands of dyed grass to create eye-catching designs. This versatile accessory will shade you from the sun, and can be reshaped time and time again by simply wetting with cold water.

Sold singly; each hat features a colorful band and other woven designs in assorted colors. Because this is a handcrafted item, each will vary.

Approximate Dimensions: brim: 16-18" W; head: 8" W x 4.5" deep

Crafted from: Elephant grass, leather

Made in: Ghana

$58.00

Kenyan artisans expertly weave long strips of palm leaves to create this stylish open top tote bag. Featuring a leather trimmed top and handles, this tote is the perfect on-the-go accessory and roomy enough to carry it all.

Size: approximately 20"L x 12"W x 13" (to top of body), 18"H (to top of handles). Due to the handmade nature of this item, slight variation in size and shape is expected.

About the Artisans:

In Nairobi's Banana Hill suburb, African artisans utilize the fiber of banana palm trees, which grow prolifically in East Africa, to create whimsical gifts for local sale and export. Geoffrey and George head up a group of talented creatives with a penchant for portraying nuances of African life through this sustainable, all-natural medium.

$58.00

This soft and absorbent cotton towel features black banding and delicate fringe. Quick to air dry, this beautiful textile can be styled as a cover-up, shawl or table runner.

Measures 37"W x 70"H. Due to the handmade nature of this item, size may vary slightly. Sold singly. Color variation is an expected feature, due to the handmade nature of this item.

Care instructions: Hand wash with mild soap. Hang dry.

About the Artisans:


The Sammy Ethiopia brand links the artisan skills of one of Africa's most ancient civilizations with American and European fashion know-how. The result is unique contemporary style that has already gathered fans from New York to Tokyo. A wealth of craft skills known in Ethiopia for thousands of years are applied to a style-forward range of fashion and home accessories to suit current global tastes. Collaborating with community organizations and cooperatives, Sammy Ethiopia creates employment to some of the world's most marginalized people in and around Addis Ababa.

$18.50

Lulu Delight is a combination of essential oils of myrrh and wild basil and fragrance oils of plumeria, honey suckle, and lilac, combined with Lulu Life virgin shea butter. This organic, Grade A shea butter is produced using nuts from the vitellaria nilotica tree, which grows only in remote East Africa.

Most shea butter comes from West African shea trees and is sold as a hard solid. East African shea butter is silky and harder to procure, and considered a precious luxury good. Lulu Shea Butter is made from nuts that are collected, cracked, sorted, dried, ground by hand and cold-pressed (avoiding even the slightest trace of chemical contamination).

Intensely moisturizing, this shea butter is easily absorbed and is known to transform your skin over time. The butter is rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants, and can be used on the face or as an all-over body butter.

Dimensions: 100ml (3.4oz) watertight plastic container.
2.25"L x 2.25"W x 2"H

Crafted from: Nilotica shea nut oil, plant essence or fragrance

Made in: South Sudan

About the Artisans:

Founded in 2000, Lulu Works is a non-profit trust established to provide a source of sustainable income for the women of South Sudan. Comprised of women-owned processing centers, Lulu Works ensures that the profit from the production and sale of Lulu Life products returns to these women. It also provides an incentive to protect the natural shea butter resource.

Lulu Life Shea ButterVitellaria nilotica tree grows across South Sudan in thick forests and takes 20 years to bear its first fruit. These forests are untouched by chemicals or fertilizers.

Vitellaria nilotica tree

Fragrance is provided by natural, essential oils. Lulu Love is a combination of essential oils of myrrh and wild basil and fragrance oils of plumeria, honey suckle, and lilac. See all of the scents available in our Skin Care Collection.

$16.00

These fantastic cotton totes are crafted from a colorful variety of printed cotton wax cloth. Each tote is completely unique, and features 12" carrying handles and string ties at top. The flat design of the totes makes them easy to roll up and have a few on hand!

Sold singly; choose from available colors and patterns. Because these are handmade items, each will vary slightly.

Dimensions: 16"L x 16"W (handles 12")

Crafted from: Cotton fabric

Made in: Senegal

About the Artisans:

These totes are handcrafted by Senegalese artisans using gorgeous cuts of printed wax cloth.

$58.00

This classic white tote, handwoven in Kenya from durable sisal, is roomy and sustainable for carrying whatever you need! Sisal is a tough, natural fiber extracted from the agave plant, prized for its sustainability. Sisal baskets and totes can easily be reshaped when needed; simply dampen with cool water, reshape, and dry in outside or in front of a fan.

Measures 16"D x 16.5"T. Due to the handmade nature of this item, slight variation is expected.

About the Artisans:

In the rural Kenyan countryside around the city of Kitui, women specialize in weaving the tough fibers of the agave sisalana plant. Sisal's spiky leaf clusters erupt from a dry landscape and often requires long journeys to gather. Once woven, these womens' totes are sold to local and international markets. Singing, dancing, and chatting make weaving for export an enjoyable social event!

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$58.00

Durable and roomy, this handwoven sisal tote will allow you to carry all kinds of gear! Sustainable and fair trade, the perfect staple for your wardrobe.

Measures 16"D x 16.5"T. Due to the handmade nature of this item, slight variation is expected.

About the Artisans:

In the rural Kenyan countryside around the city of Kitui, women specialize in weaving the tough fibers of the agave sisalana plant. Sisal's spiky leaf clusters erupt from a dry landscape and often requires long journeys to gather. Once woven, these womens' totes are sold to local and international markets. Singing, dancing, and chatting make weaving for export an enjoyable social event!

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$38.00

Talented Kenyan artisans handcraft these lustrous earrings from brass. The two distinctive elements at top and bottom are bound together by a central band, so the bottom swings gently. Each earring has a post-and-back ear wire.

Sold as a set of earrings. Because this is a handcrafted item, each may vary slightly.

Dimensions: 0.5"W x 2.25"L

Crafted from: Brass

Made in: Kenya

$28.00

Three beautiful strands of 26" Zulugrass come packaged inside fun Gift Rounds. Choose a color combination that reminds you of a specific personality - yours or for a special gift recipient.

Zulugrass 26" single strands are made from sustainable, natural grass beads. The richly hued grass is dyed with colorfast, low-impact dyes and interspersed with hand-blown Czech glass. Due to the handmade nature of this item, slight variation is expected. Strung on elastic, it can be worn as a bracelet, necklace, anklet, hair tie and more. Zulugrass is as creative as the individual who wears it!

Wear all 3 strands together or 1 or 2 at a time.

Dimensions: 26"L

Crafted from: Zulugrass, glass beads, elastic, dye

Made in: Kenya

$20.00

Ghanaian artisans create an indispensable addition to the purse in this beautiful folding hand fan. Styled from colorful cloth and leather, this richly hued Ghanaian fan can be folded and tucked away when not in use. When fully expanded, the fan not only creates a breeze, it also captures the eye with its beautiful print.

Measures 5"L x 1"W x 9"T when expanded. Due to the handcrafted nature of this item, it may vary.

About the Artisan:

These vibrant fans are handcrafted by Ghanaian artisan Fulera, who first resist dyes cotton fabric, then coordinates dyed leather to wrap around a sturdy wooden handle.

Fulera, Ghanaian artisan.
$28.00

These handcrafted earrings are created using Kenyan shillings, some of which date back several decades. The coins are hollowed and topped with a turquoise bead, then strung on French earwire.

The earrings are a unique way to show your love for East Africa while also looking incredibly chic. Measures 2.5"L x 1"W. Because this is a handcrafted item, each will vary slightly. Fair trade.

About the Artisans:

Gabriel Muragu learned the art of jewelry crafting from his father, who trained in export readiness with Alan Donovan at African Heritage. Together, the father and son team craft beautifully styled adornments from an upstairs workshop in Nairobi's central business district.

$38.00

Kenyan wood carvers create unique coasters by carving discs of beautifully grained wild olive wood. Sold a set of four, each of these all-natural decorative accessories are completely unique. Coasters should be wiped down with oil occasionally to keep the wood conditioned.

Sold as a set of four coasters. Because these are handcrafted items, each will vary slightly.

Dimensions: 4"L x 4"W x 0.25"H

Crafted from: Wild olive wood

Made in: Kenya

About the Artisans:

We work with representatives of Kamba artists in Kenya to obtain these hand-carved works of beauty derived from the olive wood tree. The artisans benefit greatly from the sale of their works, with marked improvements being seen for the individual, their families, the community.

$18.00

This soft and absorbent cotton towel features black banding and delicate fringe. This beautiful textile is perfect for use as a napkin or face cloth.

Sold individually. Measures 18-20"W x 20"L. Due to the handmade nature of this item, size may vary slightly. Color variation is an expected feature, due to the handmade nature of this item.

Care instructions: Hand wash with mild soap. Hang dry.

About the Artisans:


The Sammy Ethiopia brand links the artisan skills of one of Africa's most ancient civilizations with American and European fashion know-how. The result is unique contemporary style that has already gathered fans from New York to Tokyo. A wealth of craft skills known in Ethiopia for thousands of years are applied to a style-forward range of fashion and home accessories to suit current global tastes. Collaborating with community organizations and cooperatives, Sammy Ethiopia creates employment to some of the world's most marginalized people in and around Addis Ababa.

$28.00

These gorgeous rhino bottle stoppers are handblown from recycled glass in South Africa. A beautiful gift, or handcrafted staple in your kitchen, each sits atop a standard cork.

Sold individually, available in four different styles.

Rhino measures: 2.25"L x 1.25"W x 1.75"T.

Hippo measures: 1.75"L x 1.25"W x 2.75"T.

Giraffe measures: 1.5"L x 1.25"W x 4.5"T.

Elephant measures: 1.5"L x 1.25"W x 3.25"T.

Due to the handcrafted nature of these bottle stoppers, each may vary slightly.

$14.50

Packed with antioxidants, whole leaf peppermint and lemongrass team up in this delicious and revitalizing JusTea® blend. Cool and refreshing with notes of mint and sweet lemon, caffeine-free Peppermint Detox soothes a sore throat, while lemongrass helps with tummy troubles and iron absorption. Members of a Kenyan women's coop handpick the organic lemongrass in this blend, so your tea purchase directly benefits their employment.

JusTea is dedicated to maintaining the whole tea leaf rather than the normal maceration which destroys much of the leaf’s natural complexities and depth. This allows the tea to be steeped multiple times, retaining the full flavor profile that whole leaf tea offers.

Each 45g tin includes a hand-carved wooden spoon and makes about 40 cups or when re-steeping, 80 cups. Steeping Instructions: 1 teaspoon of tea per cup of 205°F water for 3-5 mins.

See all teas in our African Coffee & Tea Collection.

The Bain family from Canada partnered with the Katah family and the Nandi Hills community in Kenya to establish JusTea®, Kenya's first-ever, small-scale farmer-owned Artisanal Tea Factory. Fully staffed, managed, and owned by small-scale Kenyan tea farmers, JustTea was granted one of the first tea processing licenses to produce these artisanal, direct-from-farm teas by The Tea Board of Kenya. The tea farm is nestled in the rolling green Nandi Hills where its volcanic soil naturally produces some of the world's most flavourful tea. This small specialty factory processes a rainbow of teas: Purple, Green, Oolong and Black artisanal teas.

$12.00

This playful bottle opener is cast from zinc and electroplated with an antique brass finish. A wonderful gift or addition to your own kitchen, handcrafted and fair trade.

Sold individually. Each measures 4"L x 1.25"W. Due to the handcrafted nature of these items, slight variation may occur.

About the Artisans:

Roots of Creation is a South African company known for their innovate brass and metal products. They have been in the casting business for over 20 years, during which time they have built a reputation for high-quality and original product design.

$68.00

Featuring patterns inspired by traditional mudcloth designs, this handmade table runner is created by weaving dried twigs through through hand-dyed mudcloth fabric.

Two lengths of twigs are used to create visual contrast. The fabric is a thick canvas that has been dyed using a mudcloth technique in Mali.

Because this is a handcrafted item, each will vary. Colors include various browns, white, and black.

Dimensions: 16"W x 70"L

Crafted from: Dried twigs, cotton, dye

Made in: Mali

About the Artisans:

Mali Chic is a collaboration of 195 artisans that sells its products through a boutique in Bamako and through international exports. Artisans work from home, in their own workshops or on-site at Mali Chic.

$20.00

This gift set will bring a flavorful African flair to mealtime. Choose any 2 of our Ukuva iAfrica spice and salt grinders or Hot Drops hot sauces, and we'll place your selections in a gift-ready box. Makes a great gift for the foodies and world travelers on your list!

Gift set includes your choice of any 2 Ukuva iAfrica spice grinders or Hot Drops. Make your selection for each of the 2 flavors in the dropdowns below.

Producer Profile:

These sauces and spices were developed over the course of a decade by a culinary-minded traveler who recorded his experiences with food in Africa. Today, Ukuva iAfrica sense of Africa in ixi-Xhosa) works with Turqle Trading in South Africa to produce Fair Trade spices and sauces of exceptional quality. Turqle is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, and they ensure that producers maintain fair labour and wage practices. 2.5% of the export price of Ukuva products goes to the Fair Trade Trust for education for the employees. The wire and beadwork adornment for each bottle is made by hand at Cape Mental Health Society.

$42.00

Kenyan wood carvers create unique coasters by carving discs of beautifully grained wild olive wood with white cow bone inlay. Sold a set of four, each of these all-natural decorative accessories are completely unique. Coasters should be wiped down with oil occasionally to keep the wood conditioned.

Sold as a set of four coasters. Because these are handcrafted items, each will vary slightly.

Dimensions: 4"L x 4"W x 0.25"H

Crafted from: Wild olive wood

Made in: Kenya

About the Artisans:

We work with representatives of Kamba artists in Kenya to obtain these hand-carved works of beauty derived from the olive wood tree. The artisans benefit greatly from the sale of their works, with marked improvements being seen for the individual, their families, the community.

$12.00

Save 10% when you buy 3-5 spices or sauces with code SPICE3 at checkout.

Save 15% when you buy 6+ spices or sauces with code SPICE6 at checkout.

VIEW ENTIRE COLLECTION »

Peri Peri Sauce showcases red bird's eye chili peppers against a base of lemon and garlic, with hints of black pepper and parsley. Peri Peri hot sauce is the perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken and prawns. Brush a little onto chicken as a marinade a half hour before grilling, and paint prawns with Peri Peri once they hit the grill.

Size: 8.12 oz. (240ml)

For authentic African cooking ideas, don't miss Uvuka's collection of recipes!

Producer Profile:

These sauces and spices were developed over the course of a decade by a culinary-minded traveler who recorded his experiences with food in Africa. Today, Ukuva iAfrica sense of Africa in ixi-Xhosa) works with Turqle Trading in South Africa to produce Fair Trade spices and sauces of exceptional quality. Turqle is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, and they ensure that producers maintain fair labour and wage practices. 2.5% of the export price of Ukuva products goes to the Fair Trade Trust for education for the employees. The wire and beadwork adornment for each bottle is made by hand at Cape Mental Health Society.

$10.50

Save 10% when you buy 3-5 spices or sauces with code SPICE3 at checkout.

Save 15% when you buy 6+ spices or sauces with code SPICE6 at checkout.

VIEW ENTIRE COLLECTION »

When ground, salt, chili, lime oil, paprika oil from Ukuva's Hot Rocks combine to give intense savory heat at mealtime. Carefully assembled small batches are presented with beautifully adorned packaging that tells how each spice blend was inspired. Fresh flavor is released with every twist of the grinder and the spices can be used in Uvuka's collection of recipes

Size: 3.17 oz.

Producer Profile:

These sauces and spices were developed over the course of a decade by a culinary-minded traveler who recorded his experiences with food in Africa. Today, Ukuva iAfrica sense of Africa in ixi-Xhosa) works with Turqle Trading in South Africa to produce Fair Trade spices and sauces of exceptional quality. Turqle is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, and they ensure that producers maintain fair labour and wage practices. 2.5% of the export price of Ukuva products goes to the Fair Trade Trust for education for the employees. The wire and beadwork adornment for each bottle is made by hand at Cape Mental Health Society.

$115.00

Featuring a navy checkerboard diamond pattern, these limited edition navy elephant grass Bolga baskets are perfect to hold houseplants or to create beautiful storage. Handwoven out of stiff elephant grass, these eco-conscious and indispensable planter baskets stand the test of time and can also be easily cleaned and re-shaped with water.

 Limited edition, only three available in this style.

A: Measures 20" wide (13" width opening), 13.5" tall. Shown with 12" pot inside.

B: Measures 19" wide (12" width opening), 13" tall.

c: Measures 18" wide (12" width opening), 12" tall.

$82.00

These fun recycled metal hippo planters are handcrafted from washers, nuts and other salvaged metal pieces. These unique sculptures can be used as planters for small plants or succulents. The bottom is very porous; we recommend lining with dried moss before planting. Adaptable beyond simple planters, these sculptures can be used to hold a variety of items inside the home and outdoors.

The sculptures can be displayed inside or outside of the home and are one-of-a-kind. Because they are made of metal, the sculptures will develop a patina when exposed to the elements. Measures 14"L x 9"W x 6"T but may vary slightly.

About the Artisans:

Moses and his small workshop of craftsmen build their own welding machines out of copper coil, tape, steel rod, and a sheet metal housing in order to create these spectacular metal works of art. Moses began his artistic career making furniture, but quickly switched to sculpture after an interested European buyer created a demand for his works abroad.

$40.00

These vibrantly colored bowl baskets make storage beautiful in any room of the home. Handwoven from durable elephant grass and hand-dyed a vibrant green, these baskets are stylish and made to last. 

Sold individually. Size: Small: 11-12"L x 11-12"W x 5-6"H  Large: 12-13"L x 12-13"W x 7-8"H  Sizes will vary, but baskets will nest. Due to the handcrafted nature of this item, slight variation may occur. 

$24.00

Ghanaian artisans create an indispensable addition to the purse in this beautiful folding hand fan. Styled from colorful wax cloth and leather, this vibrant Ghanaian fan can be folded and tucked away when not in use. When fully expanded, the fan not only creates a breeze, it also captures the eye with the bold prints of wax cloth.

Measures 11"L x 14.5"T when expanded. Due to the handcrafted nature of this item, it may vary.

About the Artisans:

These vibrant fans are handcrafted by Ghanaian artisans in Accra and Bolgatanga using ankara cloth, wooden sticks, glue and leather. Iconic in Ghana, this style of fan is easy to spot in shops in a variety of vivid patterns and colors.

$28.00

These sweet baskets are just the right size for children's hands to hold—perfect for trick or treat or an Easter basket! Baby Bolga baskets are woven in Ghana using natural elephant grass. Just like our larger Bolga baskets, this tough fiber makes the baskets extremely durable and water-resistant. 

Baskets will be a mix of blue and green, but designs and colors are assorted—see photos for examples. Each basket is handmade and unique. Each basket is finished a leather-wrapped handle in brown leather.

Sold individually. Because this is a handcrafted item, each will vary. Made from natural elephant grass and leather.

Approximate Size: 8"D x 8"T

Made in: Ghana

Care: Rinse with cool water and reshape as needed. See our Basket Care and Reshaping page to learn more.

$34.00

This soft and absorbent cotton towel features black banding and delicate fringe. This beautiful textile is perfect for use as a hand towel or a place mat.

Sold individually. Measures 18-20"W x 28-30"L. Due to the handmade nature of this item, size may vary slightly. Color variation is an expected feature, due to the handmade nature of this item.

Care instructions: Hand wash with mild soap. Hang dry.

About the Artisans:


The Sammy Ethiopia brand links the artisan skills of one of Africa's most ancient civilizations with American and European fashion know-how. The result is unique contemporary style that has already gathered fans from New York to Tokyo. A wealth of craft skills known in Ethiopia for thousands of years are applied to a style-forward range of fashion and home accessories to suit current global tastes. Collaborating with community organizations and cooperatives, Sammy Ethiopia creates employment to some of the world's most marginalized people in and around Addis Ababa.

$24.00

Ghanaian artisans create an indispensable addition to the purse in this folding hand fan. Styled from colorful wax cloth and leather, this beautiful dappled Ghanaian fan can be folded and tucked away when not in use. When fully expanded, the fan not only creates a breeze, it also captures the eye with the bold prints of wax cloth.

Measures 11"L x 14.5"T when expanded. Due to the handcrafted nature of this item, it may vary.

About the Artisans:

These vibrant fans are handcrafted by Ghanaian artisans in Accra and Bolgatanga using ankara cloth, wooden sticks, glue and leather. Iconic in Ghana, this style of fan is easy to spot in shops in a variety of vivid patterns and colors.

$18.00

Vibrant patterned ankara cotton cloth elevates small lined journals and large blank sketchbooks. Each book includes an elasticized band for keeping the pages closed, and the journal includes a ribbon for keeping place.

Journal measures 8"L x 5.25"W with 80 lined pages. Sketchbook measures 12"L x 8"W with 70 blank pages. Due to the handmade nature of this item, variation is in pattern placement expected.

About the Artisans:

African wax prints, also known as Ankara prints, are common materials for clothing in Africa, especially West Africa. A woman named Georgina works with a group of artisans who batik-dye cloth and sew colorful accessories.

 

$425.00

These tall, striking giraffe planters are crafted from washers, nuts and other salvaged metal pieces by talented welders and metal artisans in Kenya. These sculptures make an eye-catching garden feature when filled with seasonal planting.

The sculptures can be displayed inside or outside of the home and are one-of-a-kind. Because they are made of metal, the sculptures will develop a patina when exposed to the elements. The bowl of the planter is porous, so consideration should be given during planting.

Size may vary slightly due to the handmade nature of this item. Available in a 4' size and a 5' size.

Extra shipping fees are required for this oversized item. Please scroll down for more information.

About Shipping:

Shipping for oil drum sculptures requires a pallet and starts at $200. With freight costs increasing in 2021, we have seen costs as high as $400-$650.

After your purchase, we will work with a freight company to determine the exact shipping cost for the pallet to your location, from our warehouse in Oregon. We will contact you via email about the additional shipping fees.

We can also create this shipping quote at any time during the ordering process! Please email us at info@swahilimodern.com with your full shipping address to get started.

About the Artisans:

Moses and his small workshop of craftsmen build their own welding machines out of copper coil, tape, steel rod, and a sheet metal housing in order to create these spectacular metal works of art. Moses began his artistic career making furniture, but quickly switched to sculpture after an interested European buyer created a demand for his works abroad.

$88.00

F.R.E.E. Woman jewelry showcases modern Zambian skill in eye-catching wearable art such as this necklace with copper abstract leaf shapes - some with a patina and some without. It's hung on a leather cord with a clasp. Using copper recycled from used water heaters and wire, young self-taught Zambian women of F.R.E.E. (Foundation for the Realization of Economic Empowerment) are defying gender norms becoming metalsmiths for jewelry-making.

Sold singly. Because this is a handcrafted item, each will vary slightly.

Dimensions: 4.5"W x 9"H (total height)

Crafted from: Copper

Made in: Zambia

About the Artisans:

F.R.E.E (Foundation for the Realization of Economic Empowerment) started as a group of young, inexperienced women, with no previous jewelry making experience and defying gender norms, who taught themselves metalsmithing using copper. Using copper recycled from used water heaters and wire, they transform it into beautiful pieces of jewelry. Their skills have continually expanded, and some women have trained in silversmithing.

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