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Cool Video: How African Market Baskets Are Shaped

Text by Melissa Carll, Marketing

Video by Emma Kerr-Patterson and Sophia Miner, Front-End Associates

We know, we know. We're always so excited to post photos of the African Market Baskets when they come into the store.

It's the colors (bright blue and green hues, oranges and pinks twisted together, or a simple natural that looks at home anywhere) that grab our attention; it's the excitement that we know fellow customers will share when they walk into the store and see the new baskets lined up on shelves and hooks; and, for a very tactile reason, it's because it's a lot of fun to take the baskets out of their shipping boxes and open them up.

Open them up? Yes, the fair trade, handwoven baskets, made by women in Ghana are shipped in a "deflated" state. Ten or twenty baskets will be folded into each other in their cardboard box, which, of course, allows for these beauties to be easily shipped in minimal amounts of space.

So, when the UPS truck delivers the boxes to the Co-op, we've got to clear some room in the packing/kitchen area to prep each basket before it goes out into the store. Each basket is given a quick bath (!), then it's stretched out (you would want to stretch out, too, after such a long journey), reshaped, and allowed to dry. See video above for a quick demonstration.


Customers, if you don't like how we have shaped a basket, you can take it home and reshape it yourself (instructions for reshaping are found on the card attached to each basket).


Thank you to Sophia and Emma for making this fun video of how the baskets are molded into their proper shape.

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