WHAT IS A KIKOY?
The kikoy (or kikoi) is a rectangular wrap; the length is 160 cm and the width is 100 cm. Nowadays it has become a fashion article all over the world. Traditionally, this fabric made on a simple loom, is evenly in the middle and striped along the edges. In recent years the kikoys are also woven with stripes across the entire width of the fabric.
The word derives from the Swahili kikoy and means: wrap, something to wrap around you. This shows the multiple use of the kikoy.
The kikoy has a long tradition along the coast of Kenya and Tanzania. Businessman from Arabia came sailing over the Indian Ocean and disembarked in several cities along the East African Coast. This is how the kikoy was introduced in Kenya and Tanzania.
Originally the kikoy was worn by men. Because of the heat and high humidity in these warm regions it is understandable that they preferred to wear a kikoy above a pantalon. Women use the kikoy as a skirt. In the evening the kikoy is very usefull when it is getting chilly.
Anyone who has been on safari or on a beach holiday in Kenya has bought one or more kikoys for their own use or as gift for the home front. With its cheerful colours and spacious dimensions, this cloth is really a symbol of the beautiful Kenya.
In Europe and America the kikoy is also used as dressing gown. To keep the kikoy in place is is wrapped around the waist or the hips and rolled out a few times.
More and more people use the kikoy at the beach, in the sauna, hamam or in the swimmingpool. Women and girls but also men and boys. The kikoy is also being used for draping lounge chairs, as a baby-wrap, as curtains or as tablecloth.
The KikoyShop has built personal contacts with different studios and workshops in Kenya. We also have our own workshop where several women make our kikoy products shown in the webshop. Their sewingmachines run without electricity, because most of the time the electricity cannot be trusted or isn’t even available. They also do a lot of work by hand, like putting the shells on the skirts and the fringes ont the kikoys.
Our women are very happy to do the work for the KikoyShop. The KikoyShop contributes to a higher standard of life for their families. This means the women will be able to pay for the schoolfees for their children, to cook a proper meal and to buy good clothes.
The KikoyShop buys the fabric and the products directly from the people in Kenya. This means the profit comes for 100% straight to these people. No agents or middelman are involved.
Also in our selling process there are no agents involved. This means the KikoyShop can offer you the most reasonable prices.
The profit made by selling the kikoyproducts in Europe will benefit the people directly. In 2012 we have started the drilling of a borehole in a village called Ngu Nyumu. This village has about 700 inhabitants and is situated in the district of Mackakos, one hour driving east of Nairobi. At this moment we are planning to proceed this project.