Shapes you could never imagine and colours out of your dreams, we are so excited to have the comfiest up-cycled beanbags in our Mahali house.
The Ashanti story is colourful and joyful one. A story that begins from a deep passion for Africa, its people and its ways. From how they source their materials, to the way their products are made, their business proudly represents the resourcefulness, vibrance, and outlook of this colourful continent.
Their handwoven textiles and hand-stitched products represent all that is best about African design. A love for design that stems from an abundant natural and cultural wealth, ancient skills which are patiently passed down, and resourcefulness – an ability to create something out of nothing; recycling, upcycling and turning waste into wonder.
Annually the textile industry wastes tons and tons of offcuts, which often end up in already strained landfill sites.
Ashanti has found a way to repurpose offcuts, simultaneously alleviating high unemployment rates in South Africa. Cotton offcuts are sorted into colours, pulled apart and then shredded using hand blades into narrow strips for the weft. These strips are then tied together and rolled into balls, ready for mounting onto African hardwood looms. Lovingly stitched by hand, each item is perfectly, wonderfully, consistently inconsistent- no two will ever be the same. It comes by no surprise that it’s no quick process of creating their unique products.
In the past eight years Ashanti has sorted, stripped, tied and woven more than 107 million meters of colourful weft thread into their signature fabric – all by hand. That is enough to go around the world 2,6 times! To think all of that would have landed up in landfill sites and represents only a fraction of total industry waste.
Supporting a future for African craft. Ashanti creates sustainable livelihoods for the artisans they collaborate with. Their techniques and tools have been passed down many generations, blending, bending and breaking contemporary styles with traditional workmanship. Their model gives the unheard a voice and allows for economic inclusion and localisation, circulating and growing capital in impoverished communities. It is a perfect example of how social ethics can go hand-in-hand with ecological ethics.
Get in touch: infor@ashanti design.com / +27 (0) 21 461 0367
• 77 Kloof street, Cape Town, South Africa
• The Watershed, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa
• O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa