The story of bensbuckets starts in a small market stall in Nairobi, Kenya, where I (Ben) came across a bucket hat that had been made from a traditional African material, known in Kenya as Kitenge. Kitenge materials are usually used for making bright colourful clothes and head garments typically worn by women. The colours and symbols used in each design can often have a subtle symbolic meaning, symbolising a tribe, marriage, and social status of the wearer.
I went on to buy two of these kitenge bucket hats and brought them to the UK as presents for my 2 university house mates.
A few months later I returned to Kenya, having seen the reaction and impression that the bucket hats had made on people and decided to return to the small stall to see if they would be willing to partner up to produce and sell bucket hats with the traditional kitenge patterns in the UK. All bucket hats shown on this site are now produced by this small shop in Nairobi, where they have employed a team of tailors who work tirelessly to make sure every hat is perfect.
We are currently working on a batch process where I return to Nairobi and we go together into to the heart of Nairobi city centre to large textile markets selling thousands of different pattens, materials and designs. We then selected different patterns that we believe will make the funkiest, most vibrant bucket hats possible and produce them into the hats that you see here on the site.