Polka Dot Tote - Natural
Made in Madagascar
by artisans using locally sourced grasses
This classic tote is fun and functional. It has all the style and space you need for brunch, beach days, and vacations – plus it has polka dots all over it. Hand-woven with raffia, its spacious interior features fabric-lining, a magnetic closure, and an inner slit pocket. Each purchase empowers female artisans at Razafindrabe Collections in Madagascar.
Polka Dot Tote - Natural | Fair Trade | The Little Market
- Materials: raffia, dye
- Approximately: 15" tall x 16" wide x 7" deep
- Care instructions: wipe clean with damp cloth
- As with all handmade items, slight variations can occur.
Razafindrabe Collections is a social enterprise in Madagascar that primarily works with women artisans. The majority of the women have multiple children and do not have any formal education. Prior to crafting baskets and bags with Razafindrabe Collections, most of the artisans lived well below the poverty line and earned less than a dollar per day. Through Razafindrabe Collections, they have access to a sustainable source of income and skill development opportunities. Razafindrabe Collections also supports the local primary school with basic supplies and donates 10 percent of its profits to the lunch program. We are proud to work with the artisans at Razafindrabe Collections on an exclusive collection of raffia bags.
Raffia is a palm tree native to tropical Africa, particularly in Madagascar. Artisans at Razafindrabe Collections source raffia leaves from local markets to craft baskets, bags, and and clutches. Depending on the color palette of each piece, the raffia strands are dyed using natural powders. The artisans dip the raffia strands in boiling water treated with the color powder. The dyeing process can take up to three days, especially during rainy seasons. After dyed and completely air dried, the artisans weave the raffia strands into unique baskets and clutches. Once completed, these pieces are lined and finished with a pocket, magnetic closure, and decorative accents.
The Republic of Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, with a population of approximately 23 million people and 18 Malagasy tribes of different ethnic make up. These groups include the Merina, Betsileo, Antaimoro, Sakalava, and Betsimisaraka. Although there are racial differences, Malagasy people share a common language and culture because much of the Malagasy culture is influenced by the Asian-African origin of the island’s people, which has lead to a unique and diverse society with complex customs.
Fair Trade Products
Fair Trade is an approach to international trade centered around equitable partnerships, transparency and respect. It seeks to empower marginalized producers by providing them safe working conditions, fair pay, and a means to establish a sustainable business free from exploitation. As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, we are committed to the Fair Trade principles.