Zulu Mama Chair

This striking and comfortable looking chair, with a stainless steel frame and woven seat, is more than just another piece of hip-looking furniture. Called the Zulu Mama, it was designed by a South African industrial designer Haldane Martin and made by craftsmen who are part of the Mogalakwena Craft Art Project. It was set up a decade ago by a couple who moved to Limpopo and found high employment rates and AIDS. Discovering that the locals were skilled weavers, the project was created to put them to work and provide health care and education. It took Martin four years to arrive at the design which combines recycling and a South African artistic sensibility. The basket seat is made out of multi-coloured plastic strips derived from recycled milk bottles, woven by women from the township. The frames, made from 100% recycled stainless steel, provide work to a local business that operates a stainless steel bending machine to produce them. They can make 50 a month now. Hopefully, the envisioned market in Europe, combined with the recycling and manufacturing process, will ensure the viability of the Zulu Mama going forward. :: Financial Times

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