Pendeza Weavers

Pendeza Weaving is an organization I was introduced to on a project I photographed for Fashion Revolution Kenya in partnership with East African Arts and the British Council.

Pendeza Weavers is a social enterprise based in Kisumu. It was founded in 1980 by William Okello. They weave cotton, silk, wool and other natural fibres which are sold both locally and for export. They also train spinning and weaving to disadvantaged communities. .

There is an abundance of hyacinth in the region but it is difficult to harvest water hyacinth due to the prevalence of hippos and crocodiles.Pendeza have invested in alternative fibres. “We experiment with different fibres such as the ​Calotropis Procera plant from Ukambani. It has a short staple-like make up with a texture that resembles a combination of cotton and 
silk." says William. .

The company beliefs in self sufficient mind towards sustainability,sarting at the household level, working with grassroot women,men and youth in producing hand woven apparels through application of complete value addition in cotton value chain.

The Ultimate in Luxury, these beautiful pieces are hand woven from cotton, wool or a blend of both. They are the ultimate in craftsmanship and comfort and beauty. You can feel the human touch, care and love that went into these pieces. 

The Idea of Pendeza was born in Nyalenda slums Kisumu City where the Founder Mr. William started in engaging young men and women to provide them with skills of spinning, hand weaving and dye. The youths were trained for free to form the human resource for the group and the same time create employment and jobless youths. Pendeza started off in the densely populated slums of Nyalenda, Kisumu, in 1980 and during that time the project operated from the shelter of a shop veranda.

The weaving project was founded in 1980 with special support from the British Government. The think tank behind Pendeza Weaving Project, Mr. William Okello founded the Enterprise at the age of 25 years after attending Technical Training on hand weaving, spinning and dye in 1977 -1979