Handmade - Fair Trade - Ready for Adventure

What We Believe
Where We Work
The Process
What We Believe

Our Mission

Swahili Coast's mission is to connect the incredible artistry and talents of East African Artisans to global markets using principles of fairness, dignity, and respect. We strive to support the creation of worker-owned cooperatives and provide continuing support through fair exchange and promotion of workers rights in the East Africa region. We commit to help tend the garden of social change planted by the proud women of East Africa long ago.

Our Principles

We strive to leave the world better than we found it.

Show the world that business can be done better

Develop opportunities for women with fair wages and stable work

Empower women who shape and continue beadwork traditions

Bring traditional East African women's craftsmanship to the global stage

Rebuke the history of colonialism

Collaborate cross-culturally with respect

Promote transparency and fairness

Decolonize American perceptions of Africa

Where We Work
Where We Work 2
Where We Work for Web

We work in East Africa along the Swahili Coast. Our partner artisans are located in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Explore where our products are made below!

Sandals & Beaded Leather Cuffs

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

All of our Sandals and Beaded Leather Cuffs are handcrafted at the Swahili Coast Cooperative in Tanzania. All of the artisans at the Swahili Coast Cooperative are part-owners and receive fair wages for their work. We operate at above fair trade standards. The Sandals and Beaded Leather Cuffs are crafted using traditional techniques. The beads are strung onto a fishing line which is then stitched onto natural leather, creating beautiful, modern designs.

Kenya Collection Brass Jewelry

Nairobi, Kenya

Our Kenya Collection Brass Jewelry is hand-tooled at a cooperative in Kibera--one of the largest slums in Africa, located in Nairobi. All of the jewelry is made from recycled brass with accents of horn and bone. Thanks to the cooperative, these artisans have the economic mobility to move out of the slum. Remarkably, they have decided to stay, to continue lifting up their community.

Kenyan Towels

Nairobi, Kenya

Our Kenyan Beach Towels are loomed in Nairobi, Kenya by fairly-paid artisans. They are crafted from a cloth called kikoy, which is traditionally worn as a sarong by fishermen along the Swahili Coast. We add a lightweight terrycloth lining and a pocket--perfect for stashing your wallet or cell phone while you go for a dip.

The Process
1. Design
gem20180205Feb02151785402514145495_505349733003272_9430_n1

Each Swahili Coast product starts right here in our Wilmington studio!

Our Creative Director leads the process, designing original products to be handmade in East Africa.

Sandals Sketch
2. Collaboration
Collaboration

We share the designs with our partners in East Africa. Tony, our Swahili-speaking Production Director, travels to East Africa to work directly with the artisan team--matching our vision with handmade, quality craftsmanship.

13126863_237231643309714_1702554603_n
3. Production

Our products are hand-cut, hand-beaded, hand-tooled, and hand-sewn by our skilled artisan partners.

Everything is made ethically in safe environments by fairly-paid artisans.

Beading-2
IMG_20171117_152117-2
4. Transportation

We ship all of our products by air freight.

5. Share the Story

As a brand, we place our products in stores all over the world for you to discover--from your neighborhood surf shop to major retailers like Anthropologie.

6. Your Adventure Begins

Our products have a story that continues with you...

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 2.24.08 PM
Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 2.24.21 PM

What will your next chapter be?

What We Believe
Where We Work
The Process
What We Believe

Our Mission

Swahili Coast's mission is to connect the incredible artistry and talents of East African Artisans to global markets using principles of fairness, dignity, and respect. We strive to support the creation of worker-owned cooperatives and provide continuing support through fair exchange and promotion of workers rights in the East Africa region. We commit to help tend the garden of social change planted by the proud women of East Africa long ago.

Our Principles

We strive to leave the world better than we found it.

Show the world that business can be done better

Develop opportunities for women with fair wages and stable work

Empower women who shape and continue beadwork traditions

Bring traditional East African women's craftsmanship to the global stage

Rebuke the history of colonialism

Collaborate cross-culturally with respect

Promote transparency and fairness

Decolonize American perceptions of Africa

Show the world that business can be done better

Develop opportunities for women with fair wages and stable work

Bring traditional East African women's craftsmanship to the global stage

Empower women who shape and continue beadwork traditions

Collaborate cross-culturally with respect

Rebuke the history of colonialism

Promote transparency and fairness

Decolonize American perceptions of Africa

Where We Work

We work in East Africa along the Swahili Coast. Our partner artisans are located in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Explore where our products are made below!

Sandals & Beaded Leather Cuffs

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

All of our Sandals and Beaded Leather Cuffs are handcrafted at the Swahili Coast Cooperative in Tanzania. All of the artisans at the Swahili Coast Cooperative are part-owners and receive fair wages for their work. We operate at above fair trade standards. The Sandals and Beaded Leather Cuffs are crafted using traditional techniques. The beads are strung onto a fishing line which is then stitched onto natural leather, creating beautiful, modern designs.

Kenya Collection Brass Jewelry

Nairobi, Kenya

Our Kenya Collection Brass Jewelry is hand-tooled at a cooperative in Kibera--one of the largest slums in Africa, located in Nairobi. All of the jewelry is made from recycled brass with accents of horn and bone. Thanks to the cooperative, these artisans have the economic mobility to move out of the slum. Remarkably, they have decided to stay, to continue lifting up their community.

Kenyan Towels

Nairobi, Kenya

Our Kenyan Beach Towels are loomed in Nairobi, Kenya by fairly-paid artisans. They are crafted from a cloth called kikoy, which is traditionally worn as a sarong by fishermen along the Swahili Coast. We add a lightweight terrycloth lining and a pocket--perfect for stashing your wallet or cell phone while you go for a dip.

Where We Work 2
Where We Work for Web
The Process
1. Design

Each Swahili Coast product starts right here in our Wilmington studio!

Our Creative Director leads the process, designing original products to be handmade in East Africa.

gem20180205Feb02151785402514145495_505349733003272_9430_n1
Sandals Sketch
2. Collaboration

We share the designs with our partners in East Africa. Tony, our Swahili-speaking Production Director, travels to East Africa to work directly with the artisan team--matching our vision with handmade, quality craftsmanship.

Collaboration
13126863_237231643309714_1702554603_n
3. Production

Our products are hand-cut, hand-beaded, hand-tooled, and hand-sewn by our skilled artisan partners.

Everything is made ethically in safe environments by fairly-paid artisans.

Beading-2
IMG_20171117_152117-2
4. Transportation

We ship all of our products by air freight.

5. Share the Story

As a brand, we place our products in stores all over the world for you to discover--from your neighborhood surf shop to major retailers like Anthropologie.

6. Your Adventure Begins

Our products have a story that continues with you...

What will your next chapter be?

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 2.24.08 PM
Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 2.24.21 PM