Ensuring a Future

Kipenzi Bags, Kenya

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Kipenzi Workshop in Nairobi
Kipenzi Workshop in Nairobi

Kipenzi Bags was formed in 2006 and started as a small home based "cottage" business in Nairobi. The company buys finished sisal baskets and containers from a variety of rural womens groups and individuals around Kenya, but particularly from Eastern Kenya and the region around Kitui. The basic baskets are then "enhanced" with a wide selection of beads and buckles which are produced and sold to Kipenzi Bags by artisans based in slum areas surrounding Nairobi.

Kibera, the largest Nairobi slum, provides many of the additional beads and buckles. One supplier recycles glass in the slum making these into bright and colourful glass beads that are used to adorn the baskets and bags.

The combination of supporting rural womens groups in their basket making endeavours combined with the creative aspects of artisans working in Kibera and other Nairobi slums, makes each basket a truly unique product.

Kipenzi currently employ 5 people in their small workshop who work closely with the various rural and urban producers. The direct support that is provided to these producers is significant in terms of providing a regular wage to families that would otherwise struggle to survive.

Kipenzi Workshop in Nairobi
Kipenzi Workshop in Nairobi

The high quality of finished products produced by Kipenzi is testament to the commitment of all who work so hard to provide a finished product that sells successfully in the developed markets of the world.

Areas that are being developed include natural fibre tableware including tablemats and napkins as well as glass beaded jewellery.