One of our favourite creative discoveries this winter combines the preservation of an ancient craft with design-led solar-powered innovation.
Yemen is known for its rich artisanal heritage but decades of instability and conflict have left many of its people deep in poverty, internally displaced and in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. A wealth of craftsmanship has been abandoned in the struggle for survival. Thankfully however, a new collaboration is helping to revive and preserve one Yemeni handicraft and it’s being presented in homes around the globe.
The limited edition series of Yemen Lanterns are handcrafted as per tradition by silversmiths and artisans in the old city of Sana’a. But instead of needing candles as they usually would, each uniquely detailed lamp in this collection contains a featherweight solar lamp –one of the Little Sun Energy’s Diamond lamps to be more specific. Inspired by nature and designed by artist and innovator Olafur Eliasson, the faceted lens radiates a sparkling glow that illuminates the intricate patterns of old.
For this collaboration the Little Sun Energy team partnered with The Yemen Journey – an organisation that sources handmade products from across Yemen and exports them to retailers internationally – and War Fair (DK), the promoters of trade with countries affected by conflict.
As well as providing sustainable employment in Yemen and preserving a centuries-old craft, each lantern also supports Little Sun Energy’s work in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing light to those who need it, training solar ‘agents’ and helping to fuel the development of local economies via entrepreneurship.
The Yemen Lanterns are available via the Little Sun Energy EU webshop for those within the EU. For those outside the EU, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org