Rattan Baskets by Emily Readett-Bayley who is working alongside The Katingan Project to regenerate the rainforest in Borneo

Emily set up operation PLANET BASKET in 2013 to work directly with the local rattan industry alongside an important rainforest regeneration project in Katingan, Indonesian Borneo. The project aims to develop a sustainable forest management and climate change solution based around a 300,000 acre peat forest Ecosystem Restoration Concession which is home to many critically endangered species such as Bornean orangutans, gibbons, clouded leopards and proboscis monkeys. For a full description of The Katingan Project click here.

star wars the force awakens uses baskets from katiungan

Emily is the first person to work with and market rattan products made by the people who live on the edge of the rainforest areas and harvest the rattan.

The rattan vine is incredibly strong and it makes the most durable wicker available. In addition to this, the traditional basket designs have handles woven into the structure of the basket so they do not drop off.

The mixed coloured, waste rattan is used and it does not go through an industrial bleaching process, so it has a naturally darker

Finished products are shipped direct from the source of the rattan rather than the raw rattan being sold cheap to middle men who then transport it thousands of miles to factories in Java or worse still smuggle it to China. So as well as supporting the people who live around the protected forest area and in doing so help prevent illegal logging and burning forest to make way for palm oil cultivation each rattan item will actually have a NET POSITIVE carbon footprint .

Harrison Ford visited the rattan workshops in September 2013 filming the Emmy Award winning documentary The Years Of Living Dangerously and the first episode on deforestation was a partial tribute to the Katingan Project .See more here at The Years of Living Dangerously

Amazingly Harrison Ford saw the very same baskets used on set in Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens at Pinewood Studios as Emily supplied the production company. Watch out for them on fire in the market scene about 5 minutes into the movie.

Baskets stockists in the UK include Wildash London in Portobello, The Red Dot Gallery in Norfolk and Heyls in Nottingham. For details contact Emily on +44 7802 732 753

Here are some photos from some of Emily's many visits to Borneo.

rattan wicker work
rattan wicker work

Katingan on YouTube

There are some excellent videos about the Katingan  Project on YouTube