On Friday we received our first delivery of bike baskets from The Basket Room and I can't remember when we were last so happy to see the delivery guy at Bell's.
Designed in London/Oxford by the super talented Holly and Camilla and hand woven by the weaving collectives of Northern Ghana, each basket produced is a step towards a more stable life for the members of the collective. Most members are farmers who face difficult times when the weather is poor. They rely on the alternative income raised through weaving during the dry seasons for basic living costs.
We think it's a winning team! With Holly and Camilla creating bold colour combinations teamed with the skill and care of the weavers, the result is a beautiful product that makes a real difference to the lives of Ghanaian farmers.
Creating each basket is quite a process and can take up to three days to complete. Each bike basket is handwoven from a wild grass, locally known as Elephant Grass and naturally dyed using extracts from tree bark and vegetables. The grass is split and rolled by hand, then dyed by boiling it in water with the natural dye materials.
"We started as a small group but now we've grown not just in numbers, but also as individuals. Our members are able to support their families and supplement the income they get from farming. To everyone that buys these baskets, we say Asante sana sana (Thank you so so much)." - Madam Dorcas Chairlady
This is a high quality product. The baskets themselves are strong and tightly woven. They are secured to a bike using thick leather straps and they can resist British weather conditions. Each basket is supple which will lead to less breakages or fraying (a common problem when wicker baskets get knocked or crushed in bike parks) If you think you'll use the basket for heavier loads, we would recommend using it with a basket support.
We are thrilled to be stocking The Basket Room baskets at Bell's and wish this fantastic company every success in 2017.