Ilala Weavers is situated at Hluhluwe within the province of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The organizations was established some 30 years ago, with a clear vision and objective of revitalizing and enhancing the age-old Zulu tradition of handcrafts, which at the time were in danger of being lost forever.
Today, Ilala Weavers helps over 2000 Zulu men and women, to attain self sufficiency, by working from their homes and therefore retaining their lifestyle and rich heritage of basket weaving and bead work, which has been passed down through the generations by Zulu crafters. Their modern counterparts today produce stunning works of art, sought after the world over. Each basket is completely unique, and an artisan may spend up to six months weaving a single piece!
Ilala Weavers is a family owned business situated in the town of Hluhluwe in North – eastern Kwazulu Natal. The business trades a range of African fibre products, beaded products and other locally produced handicrafts. It is best known for trading hand woven Zulu baskets made from Ilala Palm fibres, produced traditionally by women in the Zululand and Maputaland regions of Northern KZN.
Ilala Weavers commissions and buys handmade products from a range of communities in the region, and either wholesales these products or retails them through its own shop at the Ilala Weavers “headquarters” in Hluhluwe. Although this “headquarters” started out as a shop, it has been developed into a tourist destination that includes a restaurant, Zulu culture museum and accommodation facility. The offices of Ilala Weavers are also based here.
Ilala Weavers is the largest wholesaler of hand – woven crafts in South – Africa. It has played an important role in keeping handcraft skills alive in Northen Kwazulu Natal through an age where the local market for these products for home use has diminished almost to nothing. It also provides income generation opportunities for more than 2000 people in this predominantly rural region that has very few employment opportunities. Furthermore in supplying traditional Zulu handcrafts to overseas markets, Ilala Weavers has played an important role in profiling South – African products and cultural artefacts.
In keeping with the spirit of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, here are eight reasons we feel so strongly about, and are happy to be offering, Fair Trade products to our Yoga and Meditation communities:
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