What is a Vannier?

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Villaines-Les-Rochers is a little town in the middle of France where people traditionally live in  houses carved in the rocky hills.  These caves naturally maintain a humidity level which is ideal for basket- weaving.  Reeds from the nearby rivers are cultivated for the artisan tradition called “la Vannerie.”  Vanniers are people who are keeping the tradition alive in France.  What caught my eye when we went to the largest Vannier cooperative was that Hermes used the Vanniers from Villaines-les-Rochers to make a reed bag for their Haute Couture Collection.  It looks like  a Birkin.  However, it would probably be much lighter than those heavy iconic leather bags.

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This is a ginormous basket from outside the cooperative:

20130704-185504.jpg Here is a Vannier a work.

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Here is another Vannier.

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Below are a random sample of objects for sale at the Cooperative.

Sadly they didn’t have the Herme’s bag.

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When confronted with a shopping choice, think about the work that goes into making an object.  Consider whether it is biodegradable, safe for you.  Sustainably made.  Question which hands laboured to make it.  How were those hands treated? Query yourself as to what this supports.  Dig deep, ask questions.  Then buy to last, buy quality.

Make every dollar count.

 

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