Meet the Artisans of Ilala Weavers

  • Ilala Weavers

    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!


  • About Ilala Weavers


    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.


  • Fair Trade Matters!

    Fair Trade Organizations
    At Yoga Geek we feel that the principles of Fair Trade mirror the finest principles of the various Yoga and Meditation traditions and practices that we respect. Fair Trade is a global movement that began in the 40’s and exists now as various parallel initiatives throughout the world. Driven by the efforts of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and socially motivated individuals, Fair Trade began by providing advice, assistance and support to disadvantaged producers. Fair Trade has come to be a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.

    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:

    1. Fair Trade products are made in safe and healthy working conditions, where artisans receive a fair price and have a voice in how their workplace is run.
    2. Fair Trade embraces practices that minimize our environmental footprint.
    3. Artisans take pride in their work. Crafts are handmade, which translates into closer attention to detail and in the end higher-quality products
    4. By working through cooperative structures, Fair Trade artisans are able to invest Fair Trade earnings in their communities, improving housing, healthcare, and schools.
    5. Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Farmers and artisans are involved in the entire process, and Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from.
    6. Fair Trade gives farmers and artisans control of their own future. They can build their own businesses, rather than working for a middleman, and the profits stay in their communities and go back into their businesses.
    7. By choosing Fair Trade products, you are not only accessing high quality products, you are making a difference in the lives of the people who grow the food you eat and/or the goods you use.
    8. Fair Trade prohibits child labor, ensures health and safety measures are established in order to avoid work-related injuries and follows International Labor Conventions (ILO). Workers are guaranteed access to healthcare and community development premiums can be used to provide greater access to /quality of healthcare and education.


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