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Gone Rural

Gone Rural began as one woman’s vision to empower women in Swaziland’s most remote areas. During the 1970s, Gone Rural’s founder Jenny Thorne began setting up small income-generation projects with local women, and it wasn’t long before her eyes wandered up to the mountains, where women were already weaving with the beautiful lutindzi grass growing there.

Products by Gone Rural

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  1. Woven Grass Mustard Trim Coasters
    Woven Grass Mustard Trim Coasters
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    Special Price £4.50 £3.75 Regular Price £9.00
  2. Woven Grass Mustard Trim Placemats
    Woven Grass Mustard Trim Placemats
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    Special Price £8.00 £6.67 Regular Price £18.00
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  3. Woven Grass Mustard Trim Tall Basket - Large
    Woven Grass Mustard Trim Tall Basket - Large
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    Special Price £5.00 £4.17 Regular Price £12.00
  4. Woven Grass Steel Trim Basket - Medium
    Woven Grass Steel Trim Basket - Medium
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    Special Price £6.00 £5.00 Regular Price £14.00
  5. Woven Grass Steel Trim Coasters
    Woven Grass Steel Trim Coasters
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    Special Price £4.50 £3.75 Regular Price £9.00
  6. Woven Grass Steel Trim Round Basket - Large
    Woven Grass Steel Trim Round Basket - Large
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    Special Price £7.00 £5.83 Regular Price £15.00
  7. Woven Grass Table Runner
    Woven Grass Table Runner
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    Special Price £13.00 £10.83 Regular Price £28.00
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Gone Rural began as one woman’s vision to empower women in Swaziland’s most remote areas. During the 1970s, Gone Rural’s founder Jenny Thorne began setting up small income-generation projects with local women, and it wasn’t long before her eyes wandered up to the mountains, where women were already weaving with the beautiful lutindzi grass growing there.

With this lutindzi grass in mind, Jenny began designing homeware items that the rural women could weave by hand with the lutindzi grass. These women became an integral part of the company, taking their newfound confidence, fair earnings, and sustainably employment home with them to their communities. Gone Rural soon began to provide funding for community development projects led by these weavers, and now these programmes are run by a sister organisation – boMake Rural Projects.

It’s the rural women that burn bright at the heart of Gone Rural. The organisation provides a fair and sustainable income to weavers in 13 groups and 52 communities throughout Swaziland. These women are talented artisans, breadwinners, and businesswomen, who weave their wares from home. Since 2009, the weaves have elected leaders from each of their groups to sit on a Rural Artisan Board, where they represent the needs and interests of every artisan and lead on Gone Rural’s direction as an international brand.

Gone Rural’s weavers are the inspiration behind many of the organisation’s signature pieces, illustrating their leadership, strength, creativity, and family values. Many of the groups are multi-generational, with intricate weaving skills passed down from grandmother to mother, mother to daughter. The groups are constantly challenged with new patterns, shapes, and ideas – making Gone Rural the innovative design brand it is today.

Since its beginnings in the 1970s, Gone Rural has blossomed from a local women’s empowerment project to a global leader in handicraft and design, using creativity and innovation to ignite social change. Gone Rural now engages over 780 women artisans, who each plays an equal part in changing the world through fair trade, and the craft traditions of Swaziland.

2019 Traidcraft