The Women Who Weave
My younger self was always endlessly fascinated by the history of mass industrial production. I remember a Professor of Industrial History retelling the story of the Ford assembly line, and how the automation of previously handmade items allows great speed, greater precision, and of course - greater consumption - all the while me marveling at the possibilities created from this era of modern industrialization.
Never before in our history have we consumed with such veracity, creating a world where we keep wanting more and more ... it was endless, and it was endlessly exhausting.
At the back of my mind, was the nagging recollection of a different Professor offering the thought that in this whirlwind romance with large scale industrial production, perhaps we lose the true sense of connection we get from a thing made from start to finish by one person, and joyfully collected and treasured by the other.
The True Value of Things?
Fast forward to 2022, and the world is slowly creeping back to the intangible value of a hand-crafted homewares. Interior style is evolving, and I am excited to note it is evolving towards building a calm space, consciously creating greater meaning, and building an understanding of the true value of things. Interior styling trends increasingly value handmade, imperfect, natural and eco-conscious.
For example, Interiors Online notes that we should all be making an effort to "make your home unique by eschewing “fast furniture” and embracing the timeless beauty of artisanal crafted or one-of-a-kind beauties".
Homes To Love (Aus), quotes interiors stylist and founder of Chelon Design, Fiona Gould. "We're also embracing vintage pieces. It's all about treasured investments that tell a story and make a home unique, rather than fast furniture."
Our collection of baskets, mats, and cushion covers is all that - steeped in rich tradition and community.
Bulbul Home is a business with a social mission at it's heart - to create a community deeply connected. The goods we source in our Handmade Corner are made by women in remote, rural, and underserved locations in Pakistan. This is a far cry from the factory assembly floor, and the fast paced urban lives that we know so well.
Every piece is a story - it is the story of the woman who weaved it. It is a laborious, time-consuming task. The baskets are beautiful not just in their material selves, but also in the connection they bring to a world far away.
Our Lotus Baskets are a seamless weave, taking on average one woman 7 days to complete.
Buying from scattered communities is an oft inefficient pursuit, but we value the impact it has. Women who sell their crafts from home are often living in rich cultural traditions which restrict their ability to seek employment outside the home. By buying from them, Bulbul Home empowers these women and offers opportunities of financial independence.
In 2014, CNN covered the basket weavers in Zambia, and how the income allows them to pay for school, medicine and clean water - Basket Weaving Empowers Women.
Very seldom in life do we get the opportunity to have a direct impact on the lives of others. Bulbul Home jumped at the chance to do so.
We hope to continue making a difference in these communities through our 20% profit donation program (learn more).
The Basket Weavers in Bannu - Bulbul Home