Our Mother's Day Shop featured so many wonderful, female entrepreneurs over on Vices Reserve. We are incredibly proud to partner with Cesta Collective, among them. Because, this is a company truly changing the global game.
Cesta's artisans are based in Rwanda, and these women have passed down incredible skill from generation to generation. The Rwandan cathedral basket is given as a traditional wedding gift in the region. It has an inviting and functional bucket shape with a lid, created by tightly weaving sisal. Cesta, as a company, worked with the weavers to update the cathedral basket for modern use globally, creating what they cheekily deemed The Lunch Pail. It features knotted, leather straps and drawstrings.
Helping these weavers reach a global audience, Founders Courtney Weinblatt Fasciano (a former fashion editor) and Erin Ryder (a stylist) have created Cesta's cooperative and an online shop. The baskets are sold through a direct collaboration with the weavers and Cesta's designs are a celebration of traditional Rwandan weaving techniques––interpreted through a modern lens.
We sat down with Erin and Courtney (shown above on one of their trips to Rwanda) to discuss Cesta's mission, the beauty of design and the power of women around the world.
Tell us about your mission at Cesta
We are a values driven brand - we strive to create a quality product with meaning, intention and that serves a greater purpose. It is widely reported that fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world - only second to oil - and with all of the discussions around the industry's impact on our environment and unsavory human rights practices, we felt inspired to create a brand that's a part of the solution and not a proliferation of the problem.
The details are so unique in your bags. Can you discuss this?
We think that you should shop your values. Thoughtful details are at the heart of every element of our brand. We believe these details make a big difference. Our baskets are woven by hand by female artisanal cooperatives in the hills of Rwanda using locally sourced renewable resources. Our goal is to celebrate traditional Rwandan weaving techniques and the work of these incredible artisans by interpreting their craft in a modern way. We hope to prove with time that handmade artisanal brands can scale and have a larger economic impact on developing economies in the process.
How does Cesta directly help women around the world?
Our sourcing partners in Africa is a Fair Trade certified B-Corporation and all of our artisans are paid fair wage for the beautiful handwork they do. In fact, our artisans set the price per basket themselves based on the amount of time and energy each style takes them to weave. They have a voice in the process and are paid wages that allow them to provide for their families and save and invest money for their future. Sustainable economic development, not necessarily charity, is the goal of our supply chain and an integral founding principal of our sourcing partners.
What's your best seller?
The Lunchpail style is our hit product. However, many women come back for a crossbody for her on-the-go lifestyle and the chic, hands-free option for traveling.
In the shop, you can
We've to their Cesta Collective Camel Crossbody at Member-Pricing on Vices Reserve right now. Go check it out and shop for the global, greater, creative good this Mother's Day!