OUR ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACT
There’s more to beautiful jewellery than just looking good.
Our environmental and socially conscious brand ethos guides where we source our materials from, how our jewellery is made, and the impact it has on people and our planet.
Here are some of the reasons to feel good about buying and wearing SHIKHAZURI jewellery.
Building Relationships to Achieve Our Ethical Goals
Majority of the beads and artefacts that we use are acquired from traders who operate in the informal sector. Reliable sourcing can be challenging, but by building relationships with them over the years and fostering partnerships with artisans who make our jewellery, we have developed a trusty network.
As they become more familiar with our standards, they often surprise us with even more creative, unique and eco-friendly products, knowing that we prioritise the use of recycled and upcycled materials. In return, we ensure they are fairly compensated and regard them as invaluable business partners.
Preserving Traditional Craftsmanship and Cultures
Many of the traders and artisans we work with have specialised knowledge of the adornment originating from a particular region, or they are family run businesses where indigenous information about certain materials or techniques has been passed down from their elders. They take pride in sharing them, as we do, by infusing these stories and symbolism into our creations. By preserving these traditions, you too become a custodian of their rich heritage.
“When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it.” Yo-Yo Ma
Providing Socio-Economic Growth Opportunities
Reaping the talents of local artisans extends beyond jewellery. Our first port of call is always to search within the local talent pool for all our supply chain requirements, from creating our keepsake packaging to building our display cabinets. Outsourcing to independent artisans gives them the opportunity to develop and scale their own businesses. This social enterprise model promotes economic self-sufficiency through stable income generation and sustainable business growth. We’re proud to be part of the “trade, not aid” movement in Kenya.
“In Africa today, we recognise that trade and investment, and not aid, are pillars of development.” Paul Kagame.
Giving women a sense of purpose by recognising and compensating them for their talents can have a powerful impact on their self-esteem. We have had the pleasure of mentoring women from diverse backgrounds who have been involved in making our jewellery. We encourage them to employ their own artistic direction in developing the designs, which nurtures their creativity and ensures your jewellery is unique. Many of them go on to run their own small businesses as well as make jewellery for us, giving them multiple avenues for income generation. This gives them the ability to afford better healthcare, nutrition and education for their families, and ultimately impacts the community at large.
As an avid conservationist with a passion for African wildlife, it makes perfect sense to give back to the very beings that inspired our founder, Shikha, on her jewellery journey. (More on her story and experience raising animal orphans here).
However, wildlife conservation is challenging and we believe that initiatives need to operate at grassroots level and involve local communities to be successful. We carefully vet the projects we choose to support to ensure that the funds we donate are channelled directly to the cause.
We donate 5% profits from sales of our Simply Zuri collection to support the Mara Lion Project, which is run by the Asilia Charitable Foundation. Working with communities, the project has “science driving conservation” at its heart. Its main aim is to sustainably conserve lions throughout the Greater Mara ecosystem by determining their current status, identifying the major threats that could be causing declines in the current lion population and mitigating them wherever possible. To find out more, visit http://asiliagiving.org/project/mara-lion-project-greater-mara/.