“Summer Blue” Penan Women Project Tote Bag


Fresh and summery, our “Summer” range of tote bags are ready for a day at the beach. This pattern featuring a dark blue trim.

With stunning colours and contemporary patterns, PWP bags may be handwoven in the Borneo rainforest, but they are designed for city chic. A modern twist to handmade bags.

As a personal touch each bag carries a tag with the name, and often a photo of the Penan woman that made your bag. Additionally, the bags now carry a Penan authenticity badge so that you can be sure you are supporting a Penan weaver.

Strong, durable, washable, and available in sizes to suit any occassion, you are sure to find a good reason to have one of these beautiful handmade tote bags at the ready.

Penan Womens Project bags are Handmade in Sarawak

SKU: PWPToteSummerBlue Category: Tags: , , ,
Elephant Cartoon 600

Why Aren’t The Baskets Made Of Rattan?

Frankly I’m glad you asked. The answer to that question could be…

so that the bags are washable

so that the bags are more durable

so that the bags can be gloriously colourful

so that the designs can be amazing and unlimited

so that the weavers can let their imagination run riot

But the real answer is… it’s just not viable to use rattan because

It takes 2 to 4 days to find enough rattan to make one basket

It takes another 2-3 weeks to clean and prepare the rattan

Then it takes another 1-2 weeks to weave the basket

So, if unlike me, the dashboard of your car is made from cardboard, you have recently knitted yourself a phone cover, and your hairdryer is biodegradable, please don’t think badly of our beautiful Penan weavers who are doing what they can to support their families in an environment with very few resources

And remember…the baskets are not single use plastic.

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Penan Women Project Cartoon 600

Penan Children With Penan Women Project Baskets  Penan Children By Fire Fair Trade Handmade

Penan Women Project
The Penang Tribe is a nomadic aboriginal people of the Borneo Rainforest. In buying a Penan bag you are helping women to make a better life for their family.

The Penans are one of the indigenous tribes of Borneo. Calling the rainforest their home, they are believed to be the last nomadic hunter-gatherers in Malaysia. Many of them live in extreme poverty in the interior of Sarawak, Borneo.

Traditional Penan baskets are usually made out of rattan, which is difficult to harvest and process, resulting in the production of a mere two to three baskets per month. Their solution to this problem was to combine the Penan way of weaving craft baskets with the use of "tali", a plastic ribbon, which is sturdier, cheaper and readily available for them.

Penan Women Project (PWP) focuses on helping the women of the Penan tribe to earn regular incomes by crafting handmade bagsThe Project also ensures the continuity of their heritage, as the Penan women are expert weavers despite having no formal education.

The Penan Project - Video
The Penan Tribe - Video
The Penan Unseen - Video
Sunset Over Selungo - Video

Penan Teenage Boy And Girl     Penan Elderly Woman Smiling     Penan Baby In Bark Carrier Fair Trade Handmade

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