Our passion at Artisan Lifestyle is meeting and collaborating with artisans and designers who share our ethos of developing a range of stylishly handmade home décor which is both sustainable and supportive of developing the skills of the many creative artisans, within our local African communities. We are excited by designers and creative individuals who are able to demonstrate the distinctive beauty of handmade functional art for the home, which can be created using recycled and renewable materials. These artisans create individual masterpieces, each with their own story. Which brings us to the introduction of a highly innovative design team known as Quazi Design. Their story began in 2009, in an effort to provide much needed employment to the women of Swaziland, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa.
Changing The Perception Of Recycled Materials
Doron Shaltiel is responsible for leading Quazi Design, and she is supported by a group of local woman artisans from Swaziland. These women are trained specifically in the craft of creating stylish pulp (paper) homewares. These ever changing interior homeware stories are literally encompassed in each and every item being handcrafted from discarded waste magazines and newspapers! Quazi Design and the local magazine distributors have come together, in a combined effort, to put to good use piles of waste paper needing to be recycled. This initiative, together with a heart for handcraft, and a truly innovative mind set, is what set in motion the Quazi Design vision of changing the perception of recycled products one paper bead at a time.
The Quazi team firmly believe that craftsmanship and ethical production is a vital economic sector for Africa, and in particular African women. Their workshop is reflective of this, and is an environment in which all working woman artisans feel equal, supported and part of a community. This simple approach is invaluable in a society where women do not have much of a voice, but where these same women are still expected to carry much of the daily burden. (On average a Swazi woman will have seven dependents). At Quazi Design women become empowered through skills training and the offer of full time employment, thereby providing ongoing job security. All woman artisans are paid a living wage. This should not be confused with the minimum wage, which is set very low in Swaziland.
Sustainable Design for Social Impact
Artisan Lifestyle is proud to be able to partner with Quazi Design, an artisan community leading the way of sustainable interior design, with an important emphasis on creating a positive social impact. We feel inspired by the originality, stylishness and design functionality of the Quazi Design homewares. And we are excited to see how this unique homeware range expands, as these artisan women continue development of innovative techniques, combined with locally sourced, environmentally friendly and recycled materials. These artisan homewares are truly beautiful by design, and powerful with their purpose!
In addition to homeware design, Quazi Design has also created an extensive selection of stunning paper jewellery. In February this year, the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange was held for the first time, and this allowed for a wealth of design and artisan fashion to be show cased, from across 52 countries, at Buckingham Palace. Quazi Design was chosen as the artisan collaborator for Swaziland. Well done team Quazi!
Quazi Design is a founding member of SWIFT, Swaziland Fair Trade, and an active advocate for fair trade principles.
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