Malawi’s artisans have a centuries-old craft tradition using natural resources and generations of indigenous knowledge. What they don’t have is access to modern design, a platform to sell their products and the funds to set themselves up as sustainable enterprises. That’s where People of the Sun comes in. The award winning social enterprise is helping low-income artisans in Malawi build sustainable businesses, while preserving their centuries-old cultural heritage.
The organization searches for the best artisans in the markets and villages of Southern Malawi. Those who are keen join People of the Sun and are supported to run a business, develop bespoke designs and become connected them with customers around the world. People of the Sun provides the artisans with interest-free loans so they can invest in equipment and materials to establish and grow their enterprises.
People of the Sun innovate to ensure a continuous and efficient supply of products for customers and partner artisans. One strategy to generate demand is artistic collaborations - working with talented designers and respected international brands, creating irresistible designs, raising public profile and strengthening brand awareness. This ensures the artisans have regular income, their enterprises grow steadily and their communities are continually enriched.
In Malawi, as across much of Africa and Asia, wood carvings are two-a-penny and when People of the Sun first met Bangwe Club founders, Roderick and Dave, they were struggling to make ends meet. People of the Sun encouraged the men to join forces and helped them develop new products, like the sleeping animal pots and animal magnets, to stand out from the crowd. The Bangwe Club now employs six carvers and has moved from Roderick’s house to a new workshop.
We chose People of the Sun for Sarza customers because we love to see leading artists collaborate with Malawi’s talented artisans. The results are beautiful and striking, from bold, patterned baskets, to whimsical sleeping animal pots. We know that Sarza customers appreciate unique, handmade pieces that make a difference; Malawi has been declared one of the poorest countries on the planet by the World Bank. With your custom and support, People of the Sun is improving the lives of more than 600 Malawians: artisans, their families and their community members.
All imagery courtesy of People of the Sun @peopleofthesunconnect