Everyone loves to look good. But Fairtrade jewellery means you can feel good about looking good. So why settle for less? It’s a point of view that’s continuing to grow in popularity along with the fair trade movement, an organised social movement dedicated to helping producers in developing countries set in place more sustainable trading conditions… and promote happiness.
Fair trade ethically-produced jewellery is a case in point, once a niche market but fast heading towards the mainstream. Take the vibrant Preeti Collection by Nkuku. The Preeti Bead Necklace, for example, is inspired by the beauty of water – a precious commodity – and features a delightful combination of colours and textures, combined to create a stylish statement piece for women of every age and taste. A visual feast of glass, bone, brass, iron and recycled aluminium in pretty aqua tones of blue and turquoise, it’s made by Nkuku jewellery.
Nkuku is a member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops in the north of India and as such pay their suppliers a decent wage. BAFTS makes regular visits to ensure safe, fair working conditions free of child exploitation. And they maintain a close, warm personal relationship with the artisans themselves too.
Then there’s Yakanaka, also a BAFTS member, who make stunning fair trade jewellery in South Africa and Zimbabwe, committed to supporting economically disadvantaged people in marginalised communities through sustainable employment. Their gorgeous range is made from a mix of brightly coloured freshwater pearls and glass beads.
Popular ‘Just Trade’ specialises in beautifully designed, hand-crafted jewellery and accessories made in fair trade co-operatives using locally sourced and ethical materials. Their Semillas earrings, for example, are created from cleverly dyed seeds called Taguita (little Tagua) or Coquito (small coconuts) from the endemic Amazonian Palm Tree. The seeds are 100% non-toxic and because they’re so abundant, there’s no environmental damage caused by harvesting them. Three deliciously-coloured beads are strung onto a simple cord to create lovely dangly earrings, and you can also buy matching Semillas bracelets.
Just Trade works with a number of small fair trade projects but Semillias jewellery is made by the Zoe project in Lima’s shanty towns. The Zoe project provides fair pay, secure employment and a working environment that’s free from exploitation, focusing on sustainability through the sharing of local knowledge and craftsmanship plus contemporary jewellery design skills.
Next time you’re looking for something special to wear to enhance your outfit, whether it’s casual or smart, for every day or a special occasion, think Fair Trade first and make the world a happier, more beautiful place.