Sustainable crafts with recycled materials – Cultural Arts Centre, Zanzibar

What is the issue? CACZnew

Zanzibar has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, a legacy of which includes a range of traditional crafts that are still being produced today and make popular tourist souvenirs. Tourists are an important source of revenue for Zanzibari locals. However, women, those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those in rural areas tend to miss out on ‘the tourist dollar’.


What is the solution?

Through the Cultural Arts Centre, Zanzibar (CACZ), local artists and craftspeople from all over the island can receive training and sell products. CACZ focuses on selling locally produced artwork and souvenirs made from sustainable materials in Zanzibar, such as women’s cooperatives – hence even artists and artisans from remote areas can profit from the centre and thereby from ‘the tourist dollar’. By doing so the CACZ plays a leading role for community development and environmental responsibility.
Products include baskets, cushion covers, soaps, carvings, items made from recycled materials, jewellery made from recycled paper beads, soda cans and sustainably-farmed pearls, and much more.
CACZ aims to become a wholesale vendor, supplying sustainable, locally-made souvenirs to hotels around Zanzibar.


How do we help?

Sustainable East Africa helps by:

  • Identifying opportunities to use sustainable materials for the creation of arts, crafts and other products.
  • Building partnerships between different SEA collaborating partners e.g. PLCI environment club, PLCI girls’ club and Mansipaa Jamii Vikokotoni.
  • Contributing to the design of new products from recycled and sustainably-sourced materials.
  • Conducting research about the tourist souvenir market to understand the types of products tourists want and how much they are willing to pay.
  • Developing promotional materials and raising awareness of the CACZ.
  • Working with local artists in the Cultural Arts Centre to help them improve their English and internet skills to improve marketing and product research skills.
  • Developing the business and financial management skills and capacity of the CACZ team, to help them improve financial sustainability – enabling them to run more free training courses for local community groups.
  • Providing support, oversight, guidance and mentorship to overseas volunteers participating in these activities.

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Get involved!

  • Buy art and recycled craft products from CACZ to support local artists and artisans
  • Commission CACZ artists to produce unique creative products for your business or home
  • Join a workshop to learn how to make soap, recycled paper, batik and other crafts
  • Sponsor a training workshop for local people to learn skills to give them a living
  • Make a donation to support our programme