We have started work in Côte d’Ivoire, a country well known for its beautiful, colourful cotton textiles. ‘Pagne baulé’ is the countries signature fabric and national pride, worn for ceremonies and special occasions. Communities of artisans throughout the country are skilled in this special weaving style.
The fabric is traditionally woven on narrow wooden looms, propped between trees that are specially planted to support the loom. Weavers create narrow strips that are later sewn together to make the full garment. Artisans can create an array of patterns, with each design having its own unique name, such as ‘the skin of the panther’, and ‘the umbrella of the Minister for Health’.
In Côte d’Ivoire we are working with communities in the countryside to promote rural economic development. Money earned from this weaving brings economic stability to regions where there are high levels of migration. Together with our social enterprise partners CABES in Burkina Faso, we are building capacity in these communities, to enable them to start to produce goods for the international market.
In November, we will also be launching the Ivorian chapter of our Opportunities are Here campaign
The project in Cote d’Ivoire is funded by the European Union.