Tassel Tote Collection
This exclusive collection of tote bags is produced as a collaboration between Fashion ComPassion and SAHEL Design. SAHEL Design is about discovering, celebrating and reviving traditional craft techniques across the Sahel region of West Africa. The brand works with a family of leatherworkers in a remote village in the North of Burkina Faso.
Their traditional livelihood of making horse reins remained until recently in the hands of two elderly ladies, as there was little financial incentive for the younger women to learn this traditional skill. Since Sahel Design has started commissioning work, several younger women have started to learn the technique creating an income stream for these women.
Meet the FounderCharlie Davies
Sahel design is the result of Charlie Davies’s love of fashion and passion for empowering the poor. As a missionary in Burkina Faso her desire is to relieve poverty in ways that are sustainable and respectful of culture. In 2004 Charlie left her job in London as Fashion Editor for The Sunday Telegraph Magazine and headed for Cambodia where she started an ILO (International Labour Organisation) & USAID sponsored magazine for the garment workers of Phnom Penh. In 2007 she moved to rural West Africa where SAHEL Design was born.
Sahel Design is about quality craftsmanship, people, culture and community. Their aim is to help artisans to make a good living from their work. This means being paid fairly for it, in accordance with the skill and time involved. Nothing in the Sahel collection is mass produced, it is all hand made by accomplished crafts people. For their Sahel work, we aim to pay the artisans up to a quarter more than the local rate. Sahel Designs also assists the community with medical check up for children, is faciliating a installation of a water pump and has set up a small teaching facility for the artisans.