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Maadili Collective is made up of two artisan cooperatives in central and western Uganda. With creative skill, they co-design and hand make jewelry and decorative baskets from local, sustainable materials. Their jewelry line features items that have been made from the long horns of Ankole-Watusi cattle, which are native to the region. The horns are purchased directly from the cattle farmers, which creates a sustainable, zero-waste process. These Tridangle Earrings are a perfect example of how the horn is used in an elegant way.


Another skill the artisans have mastered is basket making. They use raffia, a fiber from a palm tree that grows around Lake Victoria, and dried banana leaves to create baskets of all different sizes and designs. What’s equally impressive is the dye they make. Hibiscus flower, indigo, madder root, and turmeric are gathered from the community garden and then pounded with a mortar and pestle to release colors from the fibers. The fibers are then heated in metal tubs, producing the dye. The raffia gets submerged until the color is just right. Then it’s laid out in the sun to dry before getting woven into its final form . 

Maadili means values in Swahili, and values are at the heart of this social enterprise. People and planet are their top priority, not profits and bottom lines. As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, artisans are guaranteed a fair and stable wage, safe working environments, and opportunities to grow professionally. They also have access to education about health, hygiene and family planning.


Watch part of the basket weaving process