KOTIAM Collection: Using natural fibres & dyes in our products
KOTIAM is an environmentally-friendly brand. At the centre of everything we create is locally-source fabrics and materials. We try as much as possible to protect nature by using natural fibres and dyes, promoting local resources and by limiting our carbon footprint.
For our first collection of bags, the main part is weaved by a group of women in a village in Eastern Kenya using the natural fibre sisal which is sourced nearby. Sisal is a strong and sustainable natural fiber. It is cultivated from the agave plant´s leaves which is grown in the region without any chemical fertilizers. Sisal is extracted, sun-dried and brushed before being hand dyed.
Our artisans use only natural dyes obtained from bark of trees, leaves, soil and ashes using skills that have been passed on through generations. When the women gather to construct the bags it provides an important space for them to train and learn from each other - sharing skills and traditional techniques.
Nowadays, only a few of the older women in these villages know how to make natural dyes and apply the vanishing process. Our products support the learning of these traditional skills which are being lost in modern production processes in favour of chemical dyes bought from shops which are more commonly used.
Buying a bag from KOTIAM supports these skills and women.