Nest Supports Tory Burch’s Collaboration with Indego Africa
Earlier this month, Tory Burch released a unique, handwoven market tote bag as part of its Pre-Fall 2021. The Reva Straw Tote Bag, named after Tory’s mother, was created in collaboration with Indego Africa, an Artisan Guild member, through a sourcing partnership brokered by Nest.
In mid-2020, one of Tory Burch’s product development teams came to Nest to explore expanded sourcing partnerships with artisan businesses. To solidify their commitment to empowering women around the world through craft-based employment, Tory Burch joined Nest’s Craft Coalition which provided their team with recommendations for artisan business partners that could support the development of particular products. One of those products was the Reva Straw Tote Bag that is now available on toryburch.com.
All photos provided by Indego Africa.
This one-of-a-kind basket tote was produced in the Bolga weaving style from the Bolgatanga region of Ghana. This traditional style uses locally-grown and harvested elephant grass to create durable woven goods, like baskets and handbags. Artisans pick, split, twist, unravel, and soak the grass, which grows in abundance throughout the region, before weaving the fibers together. On average, one artisan, following this intricate process, can produce one or two handbags every five days.
“The Tory Burch Reva Straw Tote beautifully showcases the artistry of Bolga weaving, which is the main material and focus of the bag and accented by custom leather details. We are excited for the Tory Burch customer to experience this unique handmade craftsmanship from Ghana,” said Sapna Shah, Director of Brand and Operating Strategy at Indego Africa. The organization partners with more than 1,200 artisan and refugee women in Rwanda and Ghana to sell products that are collaboratively created with care in Africa. Their unique, handcrafted products combine time-honored techniques, local materials, and impeccable artisan skills.
The Tory Burch order provided steady income over a period of 3 months for 25 Bolga weaver women, members of the Stella and Asibi collectives, who partner with Indego Africa. While experienced in weaving products for Indego’s collection, it was the first time these artisans fulfilled a custom order and produced a major component of a handbag, which was then sent to a factory for completion with a leather Tory Burch logo and handles.
“The Bolgatanga region in Ghana is a rural area and one of the poorest regions of the country, so large orders, like the Tory Burch order, really help to provide more sustainable income for the artisans,” said Sapna. She continued, “It was also a great learning experience for our team and artisan partners… We are hopeful to continue our partnership with Tory Burch through other opportunities, as we believe that a commitment to sourcing from artisans and consistent orders provide the greatest impact for the women and their communities.”