Maybe it’s upcoming Easter but these beautiful and graphic Rwanda baskets caught my eye at Macys the other day. They are part of the Rwanda Path to Peace collection whose sales provide sustainable income to the Rwandan women who create them. The Rwanda Path to Peace project was founded by the socially-conscious entrepreneur Willa Shalit in collaboration with Gahaya Links, Fair Winds Trading and Macy's. It was initiated by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) hoping to develop a market for Rwandan basketwork to provide income for rural women in a sustainable manner.
The first Rwanda Path to Peace baskets were introduced in 2005. Since then they have changed the lives of many Rwandan weavers and their families. Many of them are now able to afford clean water, medical insurance and education for their children. The beautiful Rwanda Path to Peace bowls and baskets are created with natural and renewable plant resources. The way it works is that the weavers harvest responsibly grown sisal leaves. These are split and peeled to get to the pure inner fibers that are then colored using natural dyes. Next the naturally dyed sisal is coil-sewn around bundled sweetgrass through an ancient technique used for centuries. In the end the 12-inch diameter bowls will consist of several thousand tiny stitches. What an impressive piece of craftsmanship and every one-of-a-kind bowl and basket is gorgeous. But my favorite is the New Africa Fruit Bowl with its modern and bold design. Happy Easter to all my eco-chic readers!