Global marketplace

With 60 destinations as well as our codeshare routes, Kenya Airways is taking you to more places than ever before. Global Marketplace brings you the best finds from KQ’s network. In this issue Jackson Biko visits the Marula Studios in Karen, Nairobi.

Marula Studios is a shopping experience with a unique twist. The company supports home-grown talent and resources spanning over 40 suppliers from all over East Africa. The studio is in the heart of the Flip-Flop Recycling Company where skilled craftsmen and women transform old flip-flops into colourful creations. As well as the flip-flop recycling centre, the studio has other on-site workshops, a recycling hub, gift shop, gallery, business centre, children’s play areas, a garden café and beauty salon. The studio is keen to boost local trade and applaud African ingenuity.
• • Tel: + 254 (0) 726 248 774,  +254 (0) 733 639 640

The whole idea is to clean our oceans and rid them of pollution. Our oceans are clogged with debris, mostly sandals. Ocean Sole collect sandals off the coastal beaches and turn them into magical creations and masterpieces. The result is brightly-coloured sculptures, beaded household items, fashion, gifts, toys and stationery all crafted by talented artisans, playing their role in spreading the message that we need our oceans.

The Kowil Women and Orphans self-help group (KWOSH) produces funky cards and jewellery made by young women, girls and youths in Kenya. They recycle waste materials such as copper wire, aluminium plates and food cans and work with weeds such as water hyacinth that are a menace in the Lake Victoria region.

Mikono Knits is a social enterprise that creates stylish and unique knitwear and home accessories on site at Marula. Knitting and crochet is a traditional skill in Kenya, being high altitude with chilly evenings. Mikono, meaning ‘handmade’ in Kiswahli, utilises only African-grown raw materials such as wool and cotton in its designs.

Kenyan artist Dominique Thoenes’ original oil paintings, collaged clothes, photos and opulent wall hangings sit side by side with her animal prints on recycled plastic. Her ‘Charms’, a collaborative work with Moses the Maasai and Tabatha’s Dagoretti women’s group, are fashioned from old T-shirts and melted down padlocks.
All Dominique’s personal exhibitions contribute to the environment or spread an environmental message.

5 SASA DESIGNS, by The Deaf
Beyond the design of this piece, you will hear a deeper story. Stories that go beyond craft and art. This jewellery line is handcrafted by deaf women in Nairobi. Women who have never had a formal job before and are only too happy to employ their talent to support their families. The designs use refined leather chord in metallic and suede finishes alongside glass beads. The wrap bracelets are finished with locally cast and stamped recycled brass tags.

Sunny carves gourds, a vegetable with a hard shell that is traditionally used by tribes in Kenyan rural areas to contain milk while it sours. He beautifully paints and beads the shells to create stunning original bowls.

Made in Narok in Masaailand, this exquisite pottery is hand-made and painted with delicate designs inspired by nature. Vases, teapots, bowls and butter dishes are some of the gorgeous products from this imaginative company.