Online store, Soko, sells handcrafted jewellery made by artisans in emerging economies, using natural and upcycled materials. They "fashion a better world" through craft, technology and trade. I'm loving the technological angle – leveraging the fact that online sales overtook retail sales years ago and leveraging how empowering mobile money has been in Africa. An apparent win-win for everybody.
I'm also enjoying the bold geometric nature of the accessories above from Soko's 'Kenyan collection'.
Watch the animation below for the Soko model. I'm looking forward to checking them out at PURE London today.
Continue reading “Buy African: Geometrical Accessories from Soko”
A few weeks ago I happened across an interesting exhibition of South African product design and crafts, at the Southbank Centre. I discovered that it had been curated by an agency called Source.
Valuing past, present and future
Source works with over 400 design and craft companies in South Africa to promote South African design in the international marketplace. They work with companies that are not only concerned with producing beautiful handmade objects but that are also concerned with preserving traditional handicraft skills and are conscious of their impact on the environment. These companies span a wide range of media including decorative and tabletop ceramics, glass, baskets, woven textiles, felt, Papier-mâché, wire work, felt, embroidery, beadwork, lighting, furniture and accessories.
Source work with several renowned outlets in the West including Anthropologie (which I love), Bergdorf Goodman, The Conran Shop, Liberty, Urban Outfitters, West Elm and more.
Find out more about Source on their website and check out their design partners.
Images via the Source website
Afri-lovers! I've missed sharing with you over the past 3 weeks.
My trip to Kenya proved to be a lot more hectic than I'd anticipated (in a very good way) and as such, I couldn't make the time to post. However, as I said on the facebook page, I've gathered a wealth of content during this time, from "on the ground," and I look forward to posting it over the next few weeks.
The coffee packet above is one I came across in Nairobi, while with my brother, @africlubguy. We were shocked to see it on the supermarket shelf. Did nobody in the approval chain realise the sensitivity of the spelling? Is it simply a case of not knowing/missing the cultural reference that many Americans would find extremely offensive (to put it lightly)? Or is it a bad joke exposing some unsavoury truths behind global trade (coffee is one of Kenya's most important exports)?
Alas, I'll be soon sharing with you some of my observations and reflections regarding other examples of ideas lost in translation. Thanks for your patience and support as always. Stay tuned and have a fabulous week!
I recently discovered Swahili Imports via tweeter, Papa Awori. Having built a network of artisans from across Africa, Swahili showcases their work to the wider world. Swahili's partnerships center on fair and sustainable profit generation, artisan advancement and modern, earth-friendly product development.
Above are just a few of pieces that I absolutely fell in love with.