By Arwa Lodhi
If they work for Made, artisans in Kenya really do have it made.
The African based, British brand is dedicated to reducing poverty in Kenya via various initiatives, including buying fair trade materials and paying their artisans fair wages.
But Made is also dedicated to preserving Kenyan culture: each piece is inspired and shaped by the vibrant and rich culture of Kenya, which includes the famous Masai people, amongst several others, whose style and designs tell a story of the country’s heritage.
In addition to helping people through fairly waged work, Made are dedicated to using the most environmentally sound materials possible. Their distinctive style comes from an extensive use of reclaimed brass in the production their jewellery.
The reasons for using this material are two-fold: Firstly, by sourcing materials locally, the brand is further supporting the community within the vicinity of the workshop, including Kibera, one of the world’s largest slums. Made buys their 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, Made believes that by using recycled materials where they can, the company is behaving in a way that is both responsible and ethical whilst also producing a product that looks great and is a pleasure to wear.
This ethos has attracted a wide variety of jewellery designers to collaborate with Made, such as Edun, Laura Bailey and Luis Vuitton. Most recently, Canadian/British jeweller Pippa Small has come on board to create her signature statement pieces created with chunky, raw stones.