Sustainable Baskets by Morongwe Mokone

morongwe mokone
The PVC range, which includes planters, starts from R480.

WORDS Nkuli Nhleko IMAGES Carike Ridout

Known for her beautiful, origami-esque swan bowls made from recycled paper, artist and designer Morongwe Mokone recently wowed New Yorkers with her latest creation.

As New Yorkers have recently discovered, Mo’s Crib’s handmade laundry baskets should make even the most tedious of tasks something to look forward to. Morongwe Mokone’s African contemporary-style baskets were a firm favourite at the NY NOW show in Manhattan, with some finding new homes in New York and beyond.

An environmentally conscious approach is at the helm of Morongwe’s design process both in terms of materials and production: “As a team, we maintain an out-of-the-box approach. We’ve made products from plastic bags, PVC pipe and even newspapers.”

She uses a clever combination of recycled PVC water pipes and galvanised wire to creatively deploy waste materials and conjure up a highly durable, sustainable and versatile storage basket. The intertwined materials make for Afro-centric patterning and captivating texture that add a distinctly artistic element to her products.

Part of the Artists and Resource Goods category at the NY NOW show, Morongwe’s team was selected out of 400 nominees to win the Best New Product award. Returning to South Africa victorious, prestigious new title in hand, Morongwe and her team plan to expand their range and uplift others. Future projects include a versatile storage design and a furniture range, as well as generating employment opportunities for South Africa’s skilled artisans.

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