Designing Material Futures - A Story of Place

Research and Concept - Creating from local textile waste from the Bolgtanga markets we seek to introduce new colour and colour ways previously not available to us, exchange knowledge and empowerment and encourage collaboration.

Business, Economic Development & COVID Recovery

Mission: To create & encourage collaboration as a drive to share ideas, exchange culture and spread knowledge and empowerment through utilising local waste textiles purchased at the Bolgatanga markets.. interwoven with The Baba Tree’s culture of baskets.

The Story

The Material Futures project interweaves our extraordinary culture of baskets with textile waste discovered at our local markets, then sorted and trimmed to weaving lengths to create luxury home and fashion accessories. The introduction of these waste textiles has enabled our artisan weavers to create never-seen-before colour schemes, fascinating textures and add wild adornments to their baskets.

We’ve chosen five of our favourite baskets - Tiny Tua Tia, Tiny Pakurigo Wave, Tiny Nosere Yure, Pot and our Stay Flow basket bag for this project. Each basket is absolutely unique!

Upcycled Textile + Straw Baskets

Through training and capacity building, co-creation and learning we seek to provide a host of new employment opportunities for our artisans; create new possibilities with waste materials; encourage collaboration as a drive to share ideas and create awareness of the textile waste problem in both the Baba Tree’s local environment and the global community at large.

Style Activist and Social Entrepreneur Bettina McIlwraith initiated the “Material Futures” project during her recent 2 month visit with us on the ground in Bolgatanga. Bettina and some of the Baba Tree’s most talented master weavers - the 3 Mary’s - Anaba, Ayindor and Ayamdor, Teni “11” Ayine, Martha “Power Angel” Anafo and Zion Akombina of the Baba Tree Crew embarked on this learning journey together with incredible basket results! Please enjoy!


Upcycled Cotton BasketsHandwoven Upcycled Cotton Baskets
November 19, 2022 — Nikta Boroumand