Zuri Design is a BAFTS registered Fair Trade Importer. Zuri Design works with 10 producer groups in Kenya.
All the producer groups started as small grass root projects which aimed to improve their community’s standard of living through the trade of crafts.
The main objective of Zuri Design is using fair trade to bring long term development and poverty alleviation. Many of the projects are located in the slum areas around Nairobi. They focus on youth rehabilitation (many young people in slums are drawn into crime and drugs to survive) and employment.
Zuri Design has worked on product development and quality to create a network of producers capable of production for export to the UK.
How is SHARED EARTH helping?
Orders placed by SHARED EARTH at the bone project in Kibera slum are enabling the project to make significant changes to their workshops and the number of people employed. The following update is from Zuri Design:
Since SHARED EARTH started buying from this group the workshop has expanded in number of employees and now has 24 young people employed. All employees are from Mathare slum. A second workshop has been opened to manage the production of bottle top ornaments. The recycled tin and bottle top lines are a new range for the workshop and enable workshop manager, John, to employ some young men from the slum that were out of work. The products have proved popular with their other export customers and these men are now kept in work most of the year. This product line also pays money to those who collect the recycled materials. The workshop also invested some of the profit from the last year into new machinery which means they have made their own production more efficient and profitable.
Art Safi Self help group - Soapstone producers
Orders received from SHARED EARTH have also enabled this group to employ a record number of people on orders. The majority of work has been done in Kisii, the area the soapstone originated from in Western Kenya. This has meant that more miners, carvers and artists have benefited from increased employment. In Nairobi where half of the group is based, 2 more woman have now been employed full time who work on sanding products before they are painted. The group have been saving to buy a plot of land in Kisii to construct a workshop on, with the long term aim of moving all production and packing to Kisii.
We are also now ordering from another Zuri producer group which uses sisal as a raw material.
Zuri is a member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS)
As the UKs largest retailer and wholesaler of handmade and eco-friendly Fair Trade gifts, our aim is to improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged people in developing countries, benefiting local community projects and keeping alive traditional skills that would otherwise be lost.