As some of you might know Katie and I were born on African soil and in our early years grew up on a farm in Swaziland. Our father traded in handcrafts and we often accompanied him on his many trips throughout Southern Africa visiting remote villages to buy incredibly beautiful crafts from the artisans. We believe that our experience as children is what has fueled our passion to seek out brands that work with artisans and preserve the knowledge and craftsmanship that has been passed down from generation to generation.
In January I travelled back to Swaziland after 12 years since my last trip there. Filled with much excitement I was really curious to see how much it had changed and I was a little apprehensive that this beautiful country would have changed beyond my recognition. But I was pleasantly surprised, everyone that crossed our path was kind and humble and still carried with them a grace and wisdom that is very hard to find.
I have always known that Swaziland was a particularly creative country, but I was very excited to see some of the brands I had known and grown up with and one of the brands was Gone rural. I had seen some of their products pop up at stores in Cape Town and I have always fallen instantly in love with their modern take on the traditional grass basket, but nothing could have prepared me for the absolute awe that I experienced seeing their full collection at their store in Swaziland.
Digging a little deeper I discovered that what on the surface looks like an beautiful brand creating practical, gorgeous homeware, but at the heart of the brand is its commitment to social impact.
In their own words “Gone Rural is a revolutionary leader in social enterprise. Inspired by 750 women weavers, we rethink & transform craft, taking it to new heights globally.”
And boy oh boy have they stayed true to this commitment and also gone beyond. In 2006 Gone Rural founded boMake (meaning woman) a program that focuses on empowering their 750 female artisans and their communities they live in. The impact of their program to date has reached an astounding 20 000 community members. Their areas of impact are in Woman’s empowerment, Health, education and also providing clean water and safe sanitary services. You can find out more about the true impact that they they are having here.
Over the years Gone rural has grown from strength to strength and their design has evolved to accommodate the needs of the modern consumer. They have collaborated with a number of brands and designers to create incredible pieces that really challenge the traditional idea of african basketry. Their continuous evolving has kept them fresh and exciting and we really look forward to seeing what they are able to pull out of the rabbits hat for 2017.
Their incredible work really has inspired us and most definitely gives us a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Be sure to check out their website to see more of their beautiful designs. And if you fancy a piece for yourself the good news is that they have a number of stockists around the world, check them out here.
So there you have it folks, we hope you enjoyed this weeks brand spotlight. Please don’t forget to share the love and share this post with your friends and spread the word about our journey towards ethical and sustainable fashion and lifestyle via our twitter, instagram and facebook accounts! Even better, sign up to our newsletter so you never miss a thing!
Wishing you a beautiful week ahead, lots of love, the Saiint Sisters xxx