Bezalila formed in 1994 and is an independent co-operative with 18 previously disparate small-scale workshops, providing Fair Trade employment to formerly impoverished artisans, particularly women, in crafts such as weaving, woodwork, bone carving, and the modelling of recycled tin cans.
With the profits generated by the sale of their crafts, the artisans have built their houses, bought rice fields and even established a pig-breeding farm! All of which helps to diversify their income, and allows them to lift themselves out of poverty. The workshops are often mainly family businesses.
Production creates sustainable employment for hundreds of crafters and therefore helps fight poverty in one of Africa`s economically poorest and most marginalised countries.
Because this project turns metal waste to a resource, production helps alleviate an increasing problem for Madagascar – the country is lacking sufficient resources for waste handling and there is no recycling plant for metal.
The discarded pop, beer and air freshener cans, tin cans and aerosols are individually cut, folded and soldered into their own unique shape – including model bikes and bicycles. Each intricate piece of tin is carefully soldered with precision and the constructed takes place in tiny workshops throughout Madagascar.
Working with recycled aluminium tin cans is a technique called “Kapoaka” in Madagascar. This recycled tin can bicycle model has been handmade in Madagascar by Bezalila, using recycled tin cans meaning each one is a unique work of art & made with respect for the environment, the people and traditions. This is environmentally-friendly handcrafting.
Once orders are completed, they are shipped by sea from Madagascar to customers around the world.
Below you’ll see products made by Fair Trade artisans and producers at Bezalila. Click on the images to discover more about each product.