OUR KENYAN FAMILY
Our Kenyan family comprise of five family run workshops that employ talented artisans to make our Kenyan sandals, beaded belts, and Kikoy towels. Crafted by hand with precision and patience, each piece is beautifully unique and takes hours to make.
The beadwork for our Kenyan Sandals can take up to 3 hours per pair. The craftsmanship takes precision and the process involves artisans sorting the beads and threading them into complex patterns then sewing through punched holes directly on the leather.
The leather is bought in a tannery in Nairobi. Our supplier dyes it and leaves it in the sun to dry. The leather is then hand cut with a strong knife for the uppers and the same for the rubber soles. The beads are stitched to the leather upper design which is then attached to a leather backing. The beaded upper is then fixed to the rubber sole.
Our belts require the same dedicated process, taking an entire day to create. The production process of our belts and sandals truly is an art. With products that require so much expertise to create, we choose our suppliers carefully.
The income they receive from Aspiga often goes towards funding their families education and living costs and also supports their extended families, who rely on this income.
THE MAASAI TRIBE
We are also proud to work with individuals from the Maasai tribe, who supply us with their unique and truly wonderful jewellery.
The jewellery is crafted in their rural communities usually out in the open whilst looking after their livestock in their homestead with their young families.
OUR INDIAN FAMILY
SMALL FAMILY-RUN BUSINESSES
Our garments, elite sandals and signature beaded pouch bags are all made by six small family-run partners in India. All of our Indian suppliers are Sedex Certified (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) or SA800 Certified, which ensures that ethical business practices are maintained in regard to labour standards, health and safety, the environment and business ethics.
We believe it is important to visit our suppliers at least three times a year to ensure our workers' rights are being upheld and respected, and also to work on ways to improve the quality and fit of our products.
“We have been making Aspiga belts for nine years now, we now have 25 workers, and thanks to the work with Aspiga, we can send our kids to school and help our families to have food and build houses . We are very grateful and happy for the work from Aspiga, who also helped with a loan to build a small workshop and gave me an iPad to receive orders, so we could grow bigger. Thank you."
“We have been working with Aspiga since 2008 and each year our quality has gotten better. When we started working with Aspiga, we were very small and all the work was done in the back of our house. Due to the work we have received from Aspiga, we have now built a small factory and are very pleased with the large orders we receive. I now employ 35 local people in my small town and pay them all fair wages. I also give them food when they turn up to work in the mornings. I am grateful for the work we receive from Aspiga"
“I have been making sandals for Aspiga for six years now and each year we get steady orders that we are happy about. We recruit unskilled men and women (most of them are of the following tribes: Maasai, Kikuyu, Giriama, Taita and Luo), we then train them in beadwork and sandal making. The ladies do the beadwork and the men work with the leather and rubber. 90% succeed within 2 weeks. Most workers have been working with us for over three years and have either purchased small farms in their villages, invested in cattle or are educating their children through primary and secondary schools. We assist them with small interest-free loans periodically and also subscribe to a government retirement agency for most of them.”