All our products are 100 percent handmade from sustainable materials. The materials used in Mifuko products are locally sourced from Kenya, both to promote sustainable Kenyan industries and to minimize transportation emissions.
Using locally sourced material is the main reason for using sisal in our baskets and bags. Sisal plants grow in the dry soil of Kenya where no chemical fertilizers are used in production.
Compared to other fibres typical in weaving, e.g. jute, rattan, seagrass, and water hyacinth, is more durable and anti-static. Sisal also takes dying better than seagrass or water hyacinth so it can be used to create different colours of baskets and bags.
Compared to rattan, sisal is a much softer material, allowing the baskets and bags to be formed into the shape you like.
We continuously work towards more sustainable material choices. Plastic has been used thus far due to its durability and predictable quality. Kiondo baskets made of plastic are easy to clean and can take water making them very versatile and suitable for outdoors too. Additionally, the plastic meets food grade standards which means that our products can be used in contact with food and are thus safe.
Mifuko uses recycled plastic as much as possible. We design materials together with local factories. The amount of recycled or upcycled plastic varies. Black, white and grey baskets have at least 30 percent recycled plastic. Unfortunately, the local factory that makes our plastic is currently not able produce other colours with recycled plastic.
Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality and environmental value. (Source: Wikipedia)
Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. (Source: Wikipedia)
Our Turkana baskets and bags are hand woven from palm leaves. It is a durable and strong material, making it ideal for bigger baskets too.
Palm leaves are an eco-friendly material, which is grown locally. Leaves are collected from riverbanks and the palm trees are left to grow.
Our ornaments are carved from fallen twigs of jacaranda trees and then hand painted. We never cut down trees to make our products!
Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) is native to South America, but can be found in other sub-tropical parts of the Globe too. It's broad canopy provides much needed shade.
Paper is a beautiful eco-friendly material. It can be fully recycled at the end of its lifecycle. The material is unbleached, light and durable. We have been developing paper suitable for our baskets together with a factory in Kenya to provide sustainable multi-function material for a variety of uses.
We use locally sourced leather in our bags and baskets. Variation in the colour of the leather handles is natural as it depends on where and how the cow has been bred. The leather has been vegetable tanned, which is a process using organic material and natural tannins derived from the barks, leaves and branches of trees and plants. The leather is cut and stitched to the baskets by our skilled leather artisan partners using traditional techniques.