ARTISANAL, ECOLOGICAL, FAIR TRADE AND RECYCLABLE WORKSHOP
The purpose of these baskets, brought to Montreal in 2002, is to introduce traders in Eastern Canada to Malagasy craftsmanship through the processing of vegetable fibres (a true ancestral Malagasy heritage).
Fibres: The several types of different plant fibres used to make these baskets (reed, sisal, raffia, jute, cotton, etc.), are purchased directly from farmers on the markets in Madagascar.
This direct purchasing method makes it possible to avoid taking too many wild samples in Madagascar, because the farmers (suppliers of these baskets) grow these fibres themselves.
The leather: Here again, every year the leather used to make the handles of these baskets is purchased in person. It is zebu leather (the Madagascan cow which is a domestic and non-wild animal present on the island for a long time and which the Malagasy consume on a daily basis). The manufacture of handles therefore allows Malagasy artisans to recycle leather and give it a second life.
The production: These vegetable fibres and the leather are then supplied to various workshops that have been working for more than 20 years. The artisans who work on these raw materials are all adults and receive a decent salary for Madagascar (at least $ 300 for 1 month of work, while the average is rather around $ 30!).
The assembly of the baskets is carried out with looms and old sewing machines, and the finishes are still done by hand.
The different materials used (vegetable fibres, leather, cotton) are all recyclable and could disappear completely if you leave them in the sun for a while.
In conclusion: These baskets come from a production that is actually: - ecological, - artisanal, - fair and - recyclable.
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