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How to know if your Malawi Chair is the real deal

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

The iconic Malawi Chair has become a distinctive, well-known design around the world. Originally designed in Malawi, Africa, the striking and unique Malawi Chair is now in homes, offices, restaurants and cafes around the world.

The Beginnings of Coastal Drift: The founder was born and spent her childhood in Malawi, later living in the UK and Zimbabwe before settling in Australia.

Why it's important to buy authentic Malawi Chairs

Fast forward to 2014 and the beginning of Coastal Drift and Malawi Cane Australia. Monique’s passion for seeing genuine Malawi product in homes around the world and ensuring Malawians can sustain their livelihood off their original and unique designs, was a significant factor in Monique working hard to bring genuine Malawi Cane to Australia.

"I had a vision to create a platform that would ensure global retail dollars reached the hands of the producers whose traditional designs and skill sets had crafted pieces. The people of Africa who I had grown-up surrounded by and felt connected to. This would in-turn provide the artisans their own global window to showcase their incredible designs and talents."

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, and over the years it has suffered from many natural disasters such as drought, famine and floods. A range of circumstances exist that make it extremely hard for people to progress past rural poverty.

The weavers who handcraft Malawi Cane pieces have a stable income from their incredible talent, which allows them to support their families. It creates a great deal of social-empowerment and pride in their infamous design.

Chair creation process

Did you know? A Malawi Cane Traditional 1-seater chair takes between 8 and 10 days for one weaver to create. The weaving skills of the Malawian artisans have been learnt from their parents and grandparents, ensuring traditional African handcrafts are passed on through generations.

We are passionate about ensuring this design of chair continues to provide vital income to artisans in Malawi for many generations to come.

How to choose genuine Malawi Cane

Here are a few pointers to help you buy genuine Malawi Cane furniture – from us or from one of our valued stockists in Australia and New Zealand.

Choosing a genuine Malawi Cane chair
Imitation chair vs a true Malawi chair

And don't forget to always look for our 'Malawi Cane' badge of authenticity!

If you have any questions or would like further tips about

purchasing genuine Malawi Cane, please get in touch.

Please support Malawi and its weavers by buying genuine Malawi Cane pieces via either our incredible stockists or or

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