In Kenya, handmade crafts are treasured as a source of our rich culture. At Mango, we stand for uniqueness, style, and customized products.
Mango believes in Fair Trade. Our operations are guided by the WFTO code of conduct (www.wfto.com ). As a fair trade principle, Mango always prepays producers up to 50% after confirmation of the order. Mango True Mirage [Mango] was set up in 1998/99 from a genuine desire to give craft producers true representation and status in a marketing and sales organisation.
Mango True Mirage is a producer owned organisation for craft producers. Early 2005, Mango was confirmed as a new member of WFTO, the World Fairtrade Organisation. This is the worldwide movement of fair trade organisations.
Mango has an important logistical role: it places orders with the producers, monitors production, checks quality and packs everything centrally in head office, before distribution by rail from Nairobi container terminal to Mombasa port-Kenya. In addition, Mango does marketing and sales (acquisition, market development) on behalf of their producer groups and takes care of product innovation.
Kenyan handicraft producers have not been strong in finding new markets or in product innovation; Mango plays an important role of marketing and product development. Prices are negotiated based on indicative market prices and on quotes from the producer organisation. From both sides, Mango is aware of basic breakdowns, and then tries to arrive a final price for ordering which is fair to all parties concerned.
As a fair trade organisation, Mango makes sure that producers always earn more than their cost price so that producers can take home a living wages for their work. As a fair trade principle, Mango always prepays producers up to 50% after they have confirmed their order. Mango always pays 100% before shipment and after inspection of goods in its own warehouse.
Products can be made to your design specifications in all materials -wood, stone and sisal-, or in combinations of materials. We have a large experience in working together with designers. Translating ideas and concrete drawings into samples, we love to make your design become reality.
In order to keep our customers satisfied we offer new products to your inspiration for every season.
For our wooden products we mainly use the Jacaranda and Itula trees from the Machakos and Makueni farm lands in Eastern Kenya. Only mature trees are harvested for wood carving. Mango is very alert on environmental matters. We consequently support reforestation programmes and encourage the producers to minimize wastage of raw materials.
Each product represents the carver's artistic touch, as no two items are exactly the same. This gives the handmade products a unique personality.
The soapstone, called Kisii, is found in western Kenya, in a region called Tabaka. This is the only area where this stone is found in Kenya. Soapstone carving is a significant source of income for the people of this area.
When the Kisii rocks are dug from the quarries, they are rough and brownish. Only under the hands of the carvers they show their soft white quality. Using simple hand tools, the stone is transformed to any possible shape, reflecting the creativity and workmanship of the carvers.
In Kenya, basket weaving is a great heritage. The 'Kiondo', as the basket is known, is made purely by hand by women, using the age-old skills transferred from mother to daughter.
Locally harvested sisal is combined with other materials like banana fibre to produce a unique, attractive product. The simple shape and natural feel of the basket makes it a classic fashion accessory for women all over the world.
The sisal weaving takes place by women, who are organised into semi-formal 'self-help' groups that can hold anything from 10 to 50 members. Each woman makes an end product (usually colourful woven baskets), by hand, and from start to finish, except for the leather straps. These are added by local leather craftsmen. The sisal is a locally available plant. Basket weaving is a traditional skill and practised by women.