Fairtrade fashion accessories brand MADE creates unique, hand-made jewellery in their African workshop whilst teaching new skills and providing sustainable opportunities for all of their Kenyan employees. To mark Fairtrade Fortnight 2014
, we're going behind the scenes of our MADE jewellery collection to discover more about their brand beliefs, how the jewellery is made, and the people behind the brand.
Using techniques handed down through the generations, MADE ethical jewellery and bags tell a story of lives changed as a result of safe, sustainable employment. Each MADE piece reflects the love and skill of the hands that make it.
"At Made we believe that people matter."
That’s why the company made it their business to invest in their employees. The workshop in Kenya was founded in 2005 with a view to harnessing the talent and skills of artisans in Kenya, whilst providing a safe working environment, long-term job security and training. Since then, the company has grown to employ over 60 men and women. From highly skilled craftsmen and women to novices eager to learn, their goal is to create sustainable jobs, teach new skills and empower developing communities in Kenya through the production of beautiful, unique and highly covetable accessories. They believe that by investing in their team, they are not only acting responsibly but also able to create the best product possible.
"Made are dedicated to using the most environmentally sound materials possible."
MADE's signature style comes from the extensive use of reclaimed brass in the production of their products. The reasons for this are two-fold: Firstly; they believe that by sourcing materials locally they are further supporting the community within the vicinity of the workshop, including Kibera, one of the world’s largest slums. They buy raw materials from local individuals, at a fair price, thereby helping to both strengthen the local economy and empower small businesses. Secondly; and quite simply, they believe that by using recycled materials where they can, they are behaving in a way that is both responsible and ethical whilst also producing a product that looks great and is a pleasure to wear.
"Each unique piece in the Made collection is hand crafted by highly skilled, dedicated artisans."
Traditional craftsmanship is infused into all of MADE's products and every item in the collection echoes the love and skill of the hands that made it. Using techniques handed down through the generations, the jewellery and bags not only look great but also tell a story of lives changed through safe, sustainable employment, training and education.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Here's a behind-the-scenes peek at one of MADE's highly-skilled Kenyan artisans, Collins, working on the new jewellery collection...
"Making the moulds in sand and molasses ready for pouring the smelted brass."
"Collins fills the sand and molasses casts."
"The casted pieces are left to cool before sanding."
OUR TOP 5 PICKS
MADE's collection sees an inspiring range of designs including brass rings, statement cuffs and drop earrings. We've hand-picked our five favourite 'must-have' pieces from the range...
1. Shikali Cuff - £25.00
2. Nungunugu Earrings - £20.00
3. Valentines Bracelet - £15.00
4. Njomoku Ring - £15.00
5. Shilai Necklace - £35.00
Which is your favourite piece? Shop the full MADE jewellery collection here
Discover more about Fairtrade Fortnight on the official website here