I have sourced a fabulous range of “safari animal” themed Fair Trade jewellery from Kenya. It has been skilfully hand-crafted from locally-sourced waste cow bone.
The FAIR Trade Store has teamed-up with Zuri Design who are an UK-based importer. They have set up and work closely with, a number of projects in Kenya.
For instance, one project is called Excel Concepts and specialises in cow bone bead making.
It started in 2005 and has recently moved into a new premises in Kibera slum, on the outskirts of Nairobi. The aim of the project now is for it to become self sustainable.
It plans to be co-owned by 4 of the original young street boys who were trained on project start-up programmes and who have remained committed to their work.
Another key point is that they now produce top quality beads that are used by a number of other producer groups including this beautiful “safari animal” themed range of Fair Trade jewellery.
Some designs use Batik print, creating a really striking effect.
THE KENYAN WORKERS…
This project involves bringing change to the cow bone jewellery industry in Kibera slum, Nairobi.
This craft industry has been around since the late 70’s and employs over 500 people in Nairobi.
These workers are almost always underpaid and work with dangerous machinery and in dirty and unsafe workshops.
Most of these workshops are based in the slums, including the workshop this project helped to start.
The work is certainly highly skilled. Yet the workers of this industry are often exploited. Middle men take advantage of the fact many buyers are evidently too scared to visit workshops in the slum.
Despite this hardship, the idea of this project is to set up and run an example workshop so that others locally can see the significant benefits of adhering to Fair Trade principles.
Furthermore, a second project has been set up called Luckysama Women`s Group and named after the area in Nairobi where the ladies live.
The 7 employees here work from home, buying cow bone beads whenever they can from the project above before finishing them off into stylish Fair Trade jewellery.
If you would like to learn more about the technique of Batik printing, then check out this Blog post —> What is Batik and how is it used for jewellery making in Africa?
If you would like to learn more about this African country, please read this Blog post —> 19 Fascinating Facts About Kenya
And finally, you can see the full range of jewellery by visiting The FAIR Trade Store’s online shop
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