The artisans of Rwanda behind the sacks of Basketball Collective, the favorite of the Katie Holmes | Fashion


When, a few days ago that Katie Holmes went for a walk in New York with her daughter Suri Cruise, there was a specialized publication, which spread its look. Without reaching the towering heights of virality that he won a year ago, her bra cashmere with cardigan game, the actress was right to combine a simple white dress –one of the must have clothes in the summer with flat sandals, bow, careless, and a small bag, signed by a great brand: Basket Collective. Founded in 2018 (which we have already talked about it here) by Courtney Weinblatt and Erin Ryder, both with previous experience in the fashion industry, the label has behind it a story that transcends the popularity of celebrities such as Dianna Agron, Claire Foy, or own Katie Holmes, fans of his designs, he has been assigned.

Katie Holmes did a few days ago wearing one of the bags Basket Collective. Photo: Gtres

Baskets round –and almost always patterned with stripe pattern– not only are inspired in what is known as the cathedral basket’, a bag that is typical of Rwanda, which is delivered as a wedding gift in the country; they are also made by hand by their artisan women. “We believe that every time someone makes a purchase, you vote in favour of the kind of world you want to live. That’s why when we decided to create our own company we were clear that it was important to mark the difference, both environmentally, as well as in the lives of women. We want to build a fashion company that is part of the solution instead of increase the problem,” she explains S Fashion Courtney Weinblatt, one of its founders.

By means of a woman who met during a spiritual retreat to the community of artisans in rwanda who is responsible for the preparation of their bags. “Not only do we like the aesthetics of the fabric of sisal in the country, but also from the fact that in Rwanda, the weaving sector is led by women. It is a kind of ritual that is handed down from mother to daughter, and a very important part of its economy. In a country that is still in reconstruction after the genocide (the attempted extermination of the tutsi in the mid – ‘ 90s ended with the 70% of this population), the women’s craft has a key role to play. Currently, more than 1,400 weavers are trained to make baskets and they are the ones that sustain the economy of their families, with an average of 4 to 5 people in their care”.

“We created the brand because we felt that it was not enough to make beautiful things: we wanted to create something that would have a positive impact on a wider scale”. Photo: Courtesy Of Basketball Collective

Their baskets have the seal the Nest of the Ethics of the Craft, which certifies that the artisans receive a fair wage for the incredible manual labor they perform. “It is they who set the prices for the basketball as a function of the amount of time and energy used, depending on the design, have a voice in the process and receive wages that allow them to maintain their families and save for the future”, make it clear from the mark. Each exchange involves the work of one of these weavers of between three and seven days, depending on the complexity of the design and some, such as’immaculée, who is the head of one of the unions with which it collaborates Basket Collective, have improved their living conditions in recent times thanks to this work. “When he founded the cooperative in 2011, with 14 weavers. Now there are 70. With the money he earned, ‘immaculée was able to buy a motorcycle for her husband, who now works transportation of sisal and has improved its taxi service when you replace the bike for a means of transport more rapid,” explains Weinblatt.

The artisans who work for the Basket as the Collective to receive a fair wage and support their families that, on average, to include between 4 and 5 people in charge. Photo: Courtesy Of Basketball Collective

Even if the catalog of Basketball Collective includes designs type tote and also shoulder bags, the pockets are round in different sizes, are their hallmark. For sale are temples of luxury such as Bergdorf Goodman, Farfetch, Matches Fashion, or Goop, the web-style of life led by Gwyneth Paltrow, his price is around 350 euro. In each model, combine the sisal and raffia, a native, is biodegradable, with details of leather from a tannery in the Italian internationally recognized for its commitment to sustainability and gold-plated in metal parts. “The boxes, the paper or the adhesive tape that we use to prepare our packages are also recyclable and compostable, and never include unnecessary documents in order”, have a purpose of its environmental commitment.

Each basket takes between 3 and 7 business days, depending on the complexity of the design. Photo: Courtesy Of Basketball Collective

Even if the baskets are strongly associated with the summer, especially since its rebirth in all kinds of designs, dimensions and combinations in 2016, the planners have defended their use as a perfect bag for all year round. “Jane Birkin has paved the way for the use of the baskets at any time by the combination with any thing, and we always thought that the sisal is a perfect material for all seasons”, he defends.

At the time of the design ensures that the starting point is not a specific time period or the mixture of resources to view a woman, but the theory of color, the interaction between the texture and the obsession shared by the patterns of stripes. “It is surreal to see celebrities for which we can admire how Katie Holmes wearing one of our bags, but the most beautiful thing is that all of them are women of great integrity who use their popularity to be a voice for change,” they said. And they conclude: “Our greatest pride is to be able to view the lovely art of Rwanda at the global level, to be as transparent and honest as possible.”

The stripes and the color combinations are two of the hallmarks of the company. Photo: Courtesy Of Basketball Collective