Ethical homeware brand Nkuku, was founded on the principles of supporting handmade techniques and skills. Travelling on a shoe string through African and Asian towns and villages, handmade skills were never more prevalent. It was this experience that captured the imagination of Ali and Alex Cooke, and inspired them to move out of London to rural Devon and start the Nkuku journey. Hear more from Ali and Alex in this blog post and uncover Nkuku’s story.

ethical homeware sustainable living

ethical homeware sustainable living

Thought X Nkuku partnership: ethical homeware & the thoughtfully handmade

As a company that celebrates the ‘handmade’ it’s a pleasure to share our stories with Thought, a like-minded businesses that shares a passion for handmade collections. Thought proudly supports slow fashion, designing clothes that are intended to last. Although we design and create very different products, our ethos is the same. Our ethical homeware collections are designed for longevity, working with natural and sustainable materials to create timeless pieces for the home.

ethical homeware sustainable living

We are fortunate to work with artisans who have shared their talent, enthusiasm and patience with us. They help create our collections and teach us some astounding techniques and practices along the way.

There is something magical about the artisan, handmade process that makes you appreciate the details, imperfections and uniqueness – especially in the fast moving, throw away culture of today’s world. We love the fact that many of our current collections derive from practices and techniques traditionally used to make practical, every day products; clay pots to store and carry water developed into ornamental pots for the Nkuku collection; saddle making techniques now used to create stylish leather bags; and traditional rattan and wicker fishing baskets, as the inspiration behind our storage baskets and lights.

ethical homeware sustainable living

We have learnt a great deal about indigenous techniques and processes along the way, and embraced these skills and traditional methods, introducing new designs, colours and material combinations to make stylish pieces for modern living.  Closer to home at our Lifestyle Store in Devon, carpenter Angus spends his time creating, fine tuning and finishing our bespoke furniture pieces in our workshop.  He combines all the benefits of handmade, care, attention to detail and great craftsmanship creating furniture that has that extra something.

It’s not just the product created that is of interest but also the characters and personalities of the artisans who make it; their experience and knowledge add to the beauty of our collections. It is easy to overlook the handmade touches, the time and effort invested in an artisan made product but if you can stop for a moment and count the number of drops on one of our Indigo drop mugs or run your hand across the smooth organic shape of one of our pieces of hand blown glassware, you can really appreciate the individual nature of each product.

ethical homeware sustainable living

Nkuku believes in ethical business and this is one of the key pillars that support our approach to our work. Our primary focus is transparency, we see our suppliers more as partners and encourage open dialogue and communication, it helps that we regularly visit our suppliers. The handmade process does mean that our collections take time to make, so we have to make sure we allow long lead times, taking into account the many challenges faced but we know it’s worth the wait.

Discover Nkuku’s collection of artisan, ethical homeware and gifts, online at nkuku.com.

Win a £200 Nkuku voucher

We’re delighted to have partnered with Nkuku to offer you the chance to win £200 to spend on their beautiful, handmade collection. Enter our competition now to be in with a chance of winning.