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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

$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.

$98.00

This fine cotton gabi, in a fresh color reminiscent of sea glass, is woven from handspun organic cotton by the artisans of Sammy Ethiopia. First, artisans weave two wide panels, then hand-stitch them together to create one expansive textile. Traditionally worn in pure white for religious services, a gabi can serve in many waysâ as a wrap or shawl, a throw blanket, a tablecloth, or even tied as a baby carrier.

You'll find many reasons to love this heirloom-quality handwoven textile!

Measures approximately 115"L x 58"W. Due to the handmade nature of this item, size may vary.

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

This luxurious gabi in a coffee-with-cream shade is woven from fine organic cotton into two wide panels, then hand-stitched together by artisans of Sammy Ethiopia. Worn traditionally in pure white for religious services, a gabi is an expansive textile that can serve in many ways, as a wrap or shawl, a throw blanket, a tablecloth, or even tied as a baby carrier.

You'll find many reasons to love this heirloom-quality handwoven textile!

Measures 115"L x 60"W. 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.

$124.00

This large mudcloth blanket is handmade in Mali using locally grown cotton. The cotton is woven into strips of thick canvas, stitched together, and then roll painted with traditional Malian designs.

Measures approximately 46"W x 72"L. Fair trade; due to the handmade nature of this blanket, patterns will vary. Hemmed borders at top and bottom; as typical with authentic mudcloth, the backside is unfinished. For best care, hand wash in cool water and air dry.

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, and child labor is never used. Mali Chic provides artisans with 50% advances on all orders and pay a fair price for their products.

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$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.

$28.00

Woven by basket weavers in South Africa, these cuff bracelets are made using telephone wire.

Each bracelet features a tightly coiled design and can be gently adjusted to fit wrists in a variety of sizes.

Measures 2.25"T x 3"D. Size may vary slightly. Fair trade.

About the Artisans:

ZenZulu is a South African craft business organized by designer Marisa Fick-Jordaan. Once consisting of only two master weavers, the business taught unemployed women how to bead and weave, with an emphasis on telephone wire. Today, this highly regarded organization ensures sustainable incomes for more than 350 home based craft producers in four different communities.

$32.00

Strung on an elastic band for comfort, this beautiful bracelet showcases the lovely contrast of turquoise blue bakelite beads with variegated powder glass beads in yellow and red. Bold and colorful, each bracelet is carefully handcrafted.

This exciting bracelet stretches to fit most wrists and measures 3"D x 0.75"W. Due to the handmade nature of this item, slight variation is expected.

About the Artisans:

Joseph operates a small jewelry and accessories workshop in his home in Nairobi's Mathare neighborhood. Together with two talented young men, he crafts beautiful adornments from readily available and iconic Kenyan materials.

$74.00

This fun necklace of red, white, and blue, strung with strong cord with tiny vulcanite vinyl discs interspersed with brass, bauxite and recycled powder glass, creates a vibrant statement!

Measures 22"L from end to end (8" drop.) Due to the handmade nature of this item, slight variation is expected.

About the Artisans:

Artisans in Ghana use colorful vulcanite vinyl discs from Togo with brass, bauxite and recycled powder glass beads to create fun jewelry!

$18.00

These unique and useful totes are handcrafted from discarded plastic water sachets—an ingenious way to upcycle a common source of litter in Accra, Ghana! Artisans employed by the company known as Trashy Bags™ collect and clean the ubiquitous water sachets in Accra, then transform them into handcrafted totes.

This would be a great gift for eco-conscious friends & family, to use as a tote for the grocery, beach, lake, or pool!

When folded and zipped up, this recycled bag’s compact size of only 9"L x 7"W x 1"T (as shown in the photo of the small bag) allows it to be tucked into a bag, car or backpack until needed. Opened, it extends to a generous size of 14"L x 8"W x 15"T (to top of bag), 21"T (to top of handles).

Due to the nature of the recycled materials, each bag will vary. 

About the Artisans:

Seeking a solution to the tons of plastic waste produced and discarded in Ghana each year, Trashy Bags has built a thriving company around recycling abundant discarded plastic water pouches. Trashy Bags employs 60 full-time workers at their workshop in Accra, Ghana, to collect, wash and transform recycled plastic into reusable totes and other products that are used widely in Ghana and exported for use by eco-conscious citizens worldwide. 

$33.00

Teak, with its lovely dark tone and intricate grain, only needs a light coating of oil to highlight the natural beauty of these handmade and unique serving pieces.

Each piece measures 14"L. Due to the handcrafted nature of these items, slight variation may occur.

About the Artisans:

Baikiaea plurijuga (Zambezi teak) is creatively used by artisans in Zambia to create beautiful and yet practical kitchen utensils.

$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.

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South Africa's beloved sosaties are kebabs of skewered meat, flavored with a sweet and tangy sauce. With mild curry flavor backed with peach and apricot, Safari BBQ sauce is delicious as a table sauce with grilled lamb, pork, chicken, corn or vegetable skewers.

Carefully crafted in small batches, Ukuva iAfrica sauces are presented in glass bottles, adorned with colorful beadwork and a miniature keepsake charm.

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.

$96.00

This set of three oval serving bowls is a beautiful staple for your kitchen. Handcrafted from richly grained and sustainably sourced olive wood, these fair trade pieces also make great gifts.

Small measures 11"L x 5"W x 1"T. Medium measures 13"L x 6.5"W x 1.25"T. Large measures 15"L x 7"W x 1.75"T. Due to the handcrafted nature of these items, slight variation may occur. Hand wash for best care.

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.

$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 bright 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

This eye-catching African wax cloth button necklace strings together colorful bubbles on black cord, creating a festive, one-of-a-kind adornment.

Measures 32"L (total circumference), 15" drop. Due to the handmade nature of this item, slight variation is expected.

About the Artisans:

A young Ghanaian aspiring model uses African wax prints, also known as Ankara prints, to handcraft colorful jewelry. The fabric is industrially produced, making colorful cotton cloths with batik-inspired printing. Artisans in Ghana highlight this cloth fabric by making colorful accessories.

$38.00

Vibrant and playful, this braided set is handcrafted from ankara cloth in Ghana. Wear together, or individuallyâ this set comes with a necklace and bracelet.

Handcrafted and one of a kind, this fair trade set is the perfect way to switch up your accessories!

About the Artisans:

African wax prints, also known as Ankara prints, are common materials for clothing in Africa, especially West Africa. Nana Yaa is a beautiful young Ghanaian lady and former model who loves celebrating the vibrance of Ghanaian culture in colorful accessories.

 

$18.00

Kenyans artisans collect discarded cow bones from local ranches and give them new life as beautiful accessories.

The cow bone used for these bottle openers has been boiled and polished. The patterned bone is created by using wax batik method that turns the bone to a rich brown-black hue.

Measures 5.5-6.5"L x 1.5"W. Due to the handcrafted nature of this item, size and design may vary slightly.

About the Artisans:

Kenyans love roasted meat, be it beef, chicken or goat, and some Kenyan nomadic societies center life around the ownership of cattle. Kenyan butchers are happy to have eager hands to take useless bones off their hands, so they sell these unexpected craft materials to artisans for a small pittance. Talented Kenyan craftspeople utilize cow bones to create bold adornments that beautifully represent the nation's appreciation for cattle.

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$30.00

Add wild style to your bar routine with this trio of brass accessories from Cape Town, featuring an elephant bottle opener, bottle stopper, and shot glass.

The trios feature brass elephants that have been cast from zinc and electroplated with an antique brass finish. 

Stopper measures 1.75"H. Opener measures 4"L. Shot glass measures 2"H. 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.

$40.00

This handcrafted apron by Tribal Textiles features an authentic African design depicting circles and traditional emblems on a background of Maasai Rust. The apron comes with neck strap and ties that have double thickness for durability, and it can be washed by hand or machine in warm water with mild detergent. Hang to dry.

Measures 34" tall x 27" wide, 44.5" height to top of neckband, each strap 28" long. Design and colors may vary very slightly from image shown due to the handpainted nature of the product.

About the Artisans:

Tribal Textiles provides sustainable employment, fair pay, training, and a pleasant working environment for more than 100 Zambian men and women.

All the work is done by hand on 100% African-sourced cottonâ including the time-intensive drawing, sewing and painting with natural pigment colorsâ yielding exquisite, high quality textiles. Individual designs are hand-painted, drawing inspiration from the stunning wildlife and surroundings at the edge of the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. After baking in an industrial oven, the stunning textiles are color-fast and fully washable. The fabric is washed and dried in the Zambian sunshine, ready to be sewn into stunning pillow covers, table runners, bags, and more.

$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.

Container holds 100ml (3.3oz) and measures 2"T x 2.25"D.

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.

$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.

 

$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

Woven by basket weavers in South Africa, these unique bracelets are made using telephone wire.

Each bracelet features a tightly coiled design and can be gently adjusted to fit wrists in a variety of sizes.

Measures 2.25"T x 3"D. Size may vary slightly. Fair trade.

About the Artisans:

ZenZulu is a South African craft business organized by designer Marisa Fick-Jordaan. Once consisting of only two master weavers, the business taught unemployed women how to bead and weave, with an emphasis on telephone wire. Today, this highly regarded organization ensures sustainable incomes for more than 350 home based craft producers in four different communities.

$44.00

Spoil someone special (or even yourself!) with this Self Care Gift Set.

This unique and fabulous set is filled with fair trade goods that will be sure to pamper and please:

  • Zambia Organic Soaps are made from all-natural ingredients, including high quality essential oils, plant extracts, leaves, and blossoms. Choose from these delightful scents: Lavender, Spearmint, Sweet Basil, Cassia, or Lemongrass.
  • 3-pack of Zambeezi Balms are made with organically grown, fair trade beeswax, mongongo, and essential oils to leave lips feeling soothed, pampered and protected. These tart, tangy balms come in a pack with three scents included: tangerine, lemongrass and suncare.
  • Shea Butter, by Lulu Life, is an organic, Grade A virgin shea butter. Lulu Life Shea Butter is produced using nuts from the vitellaria nilotica tree, which grows only in remote East Africa. Choose from a variety of lovely scents, including:
    • Lavender
    • Mayan Gold (an earthy, citrus blend)
    • Lulu Love (a floral blend)
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Lulu Delight (a blend of myrrh, wild basil, and florals)
    • or Pure Lulu Unscented.

These delightful, handmade products are all tucked inside a natural gray soapstone bowl, handcrafted in Kenya. Coloration of the bowl will vary; the undyed gray soapstone shows natural veining and shades of gray.

$68.00

Talented weavers in Bolgatanga, Ghana, turn stiff stalks of elephant grass into these beautiful works of functional art. This basket features interwoven triangles and diamonds of retro-inspired yellow, orange, and brown.

Measures approximately 15"D x 15"T. Due to the handmade nature of this basket, some variations in color, patterning, and size are expected. Can be rinsed and reshaped with cool water as needed.

NOTE: In response to requests for bolga baskets with less leather, we now offer many baskets without goatskin-wrapped handles! This basket is reinforced with a small amount of leather at each end of the handle, and the rest of the handle is natural grass. Grass handled baskets like this one are best used for display or decor. Please consider reinforcing the handle if you choose to use it for heavy carrying.

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$365.00

Designed to showcase flowers as if they were an ostrich's plumes, these handmade African sculptures are are welded outside of Nairobi using recycled oil drums and scrap metal. Each ostrich is crafted from the ground up and exhibits its own unique characteristics.

The sculptures can be displayed inside or outside of the home and are one-of-a-kind. Because they are made of metal, the ostrich planters will develop a patina when exposed to the elements.

Large measures 6 feet tall, with a planter basket that measures 21"D x 8.5"T. Smaller size measures 5 feet tall, with a planter basket that measures 15"D x 6"T. Sizes may vary slightly due to the handcrafted nature of this item.

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

About Shipping:

Shipping for these sculptures requires a pallet and cost starts at $200. After purchase, we will contact you via email regarding the additional shipping charges.

Shipping from our location in Oregon to the Northeast is most expensive, while shipping to California is least expensive. Shipping includes the cost for using a lift gate. Costs can sometimes be reduced if you can provide a business address.

Multiple sculptures can be shipped on a single pallet, typically costing the same as shipping for a single sculpture on a pallet.

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

Once you have placed your order and agreed to the shipping cost, we will send you a Paypal invoice. The total will subtract any shipping you have already paid during the checkout process.

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.

$45.00

These stunning low plant stands are beaded with an intricate mosaic of colorful strung glass beads. An artful way to display your favorite house plants, each stand includes a beaded wooden seat atop a sturdy metal frame. Also useful as a decorative short side table or stool.

Choose from 2 designs. Measures 12"D x 12"T. Due to the handcrafted nature of this item, slight variation may occur.

About the Artisans:

Artisans in Ghana use their creative beading and metal working skills to create furniture with an uniquely African flair. This item is handmade by our artisan partner Fred Orkoli.

$22.00

Wild olive wood grows in protected areas in Kenya, and offers a beautiful wood grain and durability for these little spoons. Bright sunny beads adorn the handle and add a recognizable African touch.

Each measures 4"L x 1.25"W x 0.5"T. Due to the handcrafted nature of this item, slight variation may occur. The spoons, carved from a single piece of sustainably sourced olive wood, will last for decades with simple care. Care instructions: Hand wash in warm soapy water, rinse and dry. Rub wood lightly with mineral or olive oil before storing.

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.

$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 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 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.

$68.00

These natural grass baskets are expertly woven by skilled weavers from the Bolgatanga region in Ghana. To create the brilliant rainbow weave, artisans dye strands of elephant grass in an array of colors before weaving. 

The basket can be rinsed with cool water and re-shaped, as needed. Measures approximately 15"D x 15"T. Due to the handcrafted nature of this item, slight variation may occur. 

This basket features a grass handle (recommended for home decor use, not carrying heavy items) and may include handle reinforcements crafted from pink leather.

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$28.00

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 10"L x 1"W x 14"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.
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