Alaffia, a fair trade organization waging war on poverty in West Africa, introduces a new basket style. The Winged Basket is the first update since Alaffia’s initial offering of hand woven baskets.
Alaffia uses wild harvested savanna grasses, which are stripped and twisted to craft the unique and creative designs. The Winged Baskets feature extended side panels providing a more stylish look and storage space. Each basket takes a week to make and beautifully displays the talent and skill of Ghanaian weavers.
Alaffia’s basket weaving program began in 2004. The program now employs 260 basket weavers at the Alaffia Village in Sokodé and over 1,975 grass collectors in Blitta. The Ghana basket cooperative is made up of 4,950 individual weavers, who each have a contract with Alaffia, guaranteeing a fair trade price for each basket.
Every single Alaffia basket is unique; none are mass-produced. In 2015, Alaffia began adding tags in every basket that has the weaver’s name, village, country, and a lot code linked to the month it was woven. This allows each weaver to be recognized directly for their work and artistry.
The Authentic Handwoven Basket collection also includes the Market version, Mini Market, Shoulder, and Oval Baskets. The full selection can be viewed at the Alaffia website.
Alaffia, located in Olympia, Washington and Togo, West Africa, was founded in 2004 to alleviate poverty and empower communities in West Africa through the fair trade of indigenous resources. The raw ingredients used in their body care products are handcrafted using traditional techniques at cooperatives in Togo, which employ over 500 women. The finished products are produced in Olympia. Alaffia’s sales are reinvested into West African communities through Empowerment Projects, which aim to advance gender equality and eradicate poverty. Alaffia’s product lines include Alaffia, Authentic, Everyday Shea, Everyday Coconut, Beautiful Curls, and Queen Alaffia. Alaffia was named Whole Foods Market’s 2014 Supplier of the Year, Thurston County’s 2014 Employer of the Year, and Nutrition Business Journal’s 2016 recipient for Mission and Philanthropy.