IKAVU


Sustainable.     Ethically  Traded.     Woven in Africa.


Our Story

At Ikavu, we are proud to offer ethical products that are beautiful, functional, and handcrafted. Our bags and baskets are made by artisans in Kenya using traditional East African weaving techniques.

Ikavu was founded by two women — one from Kenya and one from California. Together with weavers and artisans we established the Ikavu Weavers Collective in 2012. One of our principles is to create quality goods made with fair labor practices. Through our partnership with artisans in Kenya we have been able to achieve that vision.

 

 

Our woven baskets are created from sustainable materials including sisal, baobab bark, and naturally tanned leather. All our products are made with a focus on quality workmanship and design.

We believe everyone should have a great everyday tote bag, a practical, reusable bag that you’ll love. There’s a good reason we stand behind this philosophy. It’s estimated that each reusable bag purchased will save over a thousand disposable bags.

A handbag, tote bag, or market basket from Ikavu will easily become your favorite go-to bag, perfect for all your daily adventures.

 

Fibers & Materials


Sisal

Sisal baskets are made from a natural cactus fiber. This strong fiber has many uses, and because the sisal plant is hardy and drought resistant, it is environmentally friendly to grow. Our sisal baskets are finely woven by hand, and the quality and artistry is stunning. With detailed designs and beautiful colors, no two are exactly alike. Each one is a unique work of art. 

Baobab Bark

This is one of the oldest and most traditional East African weaving fibers. Baobab bark is sustainably harvested and the earthy colors are achieved using natural plant based dyes. These bags feature a classic combination of neutral colors including brown, tan, and charcoal grey. Authentic baobab baskets are some of the most treasured East African fiber arts. 

Wool Blend Yarns

We use wool-acrylic blend yarn to make our softest woven bags. These wool bags use yarn as well as sisal fiber in the weaving process. The resulting material is durable and practical, and the colors are bright and beautiful. 

Naturally Tanned Leather

This leather is tanned using traditional, low­‐impact methods. Unlike large factories, these artisanal techniques utilize tree bark and small­‐scale, sustainable practices. The finished product is a quality vegetable tanned leather that is dark brown or red brown on one side with a soft suede finish on the other. Subtle variations in color due to the craftsman process are part of the handmade nature of the leather we use for our bags. 

 

 

When you purchase a bag from Ikavu, you are helping create the next chapter in the story. Your purchase provides opportunities for talented artisans, and benefits their families and communities. We hope you will enjoy these East African fiber arts as much as we have enjoyed bringing them to you.


"It's the little things people do. That's what will make the difference."     - Wangari Maathai