Radia and Raphia: a meeting at the origin of a collection

par Saïda & Omar
Bougie Raphia

The raffia seduces the fashion industry but also in interior decoration. It is easily incorporated into collections of high-end and luxury pieces. This natural fiber, derived from palm leaves, comes from several African countries, Madagascar, Congo, Cameroon, Gabon or Morocco.

This material inspires many African designers but also major international brands.

The raffia trend reflects the quest for meaning and the evolution of consumption patterns towards greater eco-responsibility and sustainability. Both flexible and resistant, raffia fiber is hand woven by basket weavers using local techniques.

The birth of the story between Côté Bougie and Raphia

It is at the bend of an alley in 2017, during a family weekend in the region of Essaouira, that we see in an alley of the medina, Radia.

raffia weaving

Radia is a Berber woman from the city of Essaouira, Morocco. She grew up in a large, modest family, where women had been weaving for generations to support their households. This is how she learned to weave from a very young age.

As she grew up, Radia noticed that many women in her community were also skilled at weaving and sought to sell their products locally. However, they could not compete with products imported from China and India, which were sold at much lower prices.

It was then that Radia had the idea to create a cooperative to weave raffia, a local plant used to make bags, baskets and other household items. She brought together a group of talented and passionate women who were struggling to find a market for their products. Together, they created the raffia weaving cooperative, which quickly became a successful business.


The Radia cooperative was built around the values of solidarity, mutual aid and cooperation. The women worked together to create unique, high-quality designs that quickly caught the attention of tourists and local buyers. The cooperative’s products were also environmentally friendly because raffia is a renewable and ecological plant.

Over time, the raffia weaving cooperative has become a source of pride for the community of Essaouira. It has enabled many women to earn a stable income and support their families. Radia has become a respected and admired figure for her leadership and commitment to the rights of women and workers.

We will try with her many, many samples, prototypes… To get to this day! This candle cover will become our best-seller over time.

Raphia: now a must at Côté Bougie

Today, the raffia weaving cooperative continues to thrive, with products sold throughout Morocco and even abroad. It has become a symbol of women’s ability to work together to create sustainable and successful businesses, while preserving local craft traditions.

A must in all our new collections of raffia candles, each year we modernize or change the colors of our covers for your greatest pleasure.

Today, more than thirty women weave our candles in this cooperative. Our candles travel around the world. This is a great pride for us, as you know for more than 20 years, we make it a point of honor to accompany Moroccan women in their emancipation. It is for us a major player, we are actively engaged with Moroccan women to become independent.

A beautiful story that gives the desire to always do more in the world of crafts. 

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