This cute polar bear pendant is skilfully hand-carved from a tagua nut.
Tagua is a nut from a type of palm that grows in the South American jungle. Often referred to as vegetable ivory, it is a sustainable and environmentally sound alternative to animal ivory. The nut is finished using a variety of sanding processes, polished to achieve a smooth surface, and then threaded onto a long antique gold effect chain made from plated steel.
Hand made in Sosote, Ecuador by Carlos who earns a fair wage and has regular work as a result of collaborating with Just Trade. Comes mounted on card detailing the fair trade nature of the product.
Chain approximately 90cm - long enough to place over the head.
Tagua is a natural, organic material and the undyed products may darken slightly over time; this is normal. If your tagua jewellery is looking a bit dull it can be buffed up with a soft white cotton cloth. Although tagua is a fairly hardwearing material, please be aware that if you drop it or knock it against a hard surface it could chip. Never immerse your tagua jewellery in water as this can cause it to crack.
In 2010, after seeing the success of Just Trade’s collaboration with artisans in Peru, Founder Laura was contacted by the Ecuadorian embassy to meet with WFTO producers in Ecuador.
Whilst Ecuador has many highly skilled artisans, they have seen global exports decrease over recent years as they are competing against the cheaper work force in Asia, where the cost of living is significantly lower. As a result, artisans compete over the local tourist market where they are often exploited by middle men who take advantage of the over-supply of handicraft products and demand increasingly lower prices.
Just Trade have collaborated with these artisans to develop training programmes and design workshops enabling the production of jewellery suitable for export. The projects are overseen by their Ecuadorian partner Vilma, who has over twenty years experience working in fair trade. Just Trade share a passion for empowering marginalised artisans to ensure a better future for their families through the making and selling of beautiful products.
Just Trade collaborates with artisans around the world to create stylish, desirable handmade jewellery and accessories. The Company was founded in 2006 by jewellery designer Laura Cave; the idea born out of her first hand contact with real people in the developing world, and her recognition that in order for small, fair trade projects to be sustainable, they need a long-term route to market for their goods.
Combining traditional craft skills and materials with expert knowledge of contemporary jewellery and accessories, Just Trade have developed ranges of unique pieces with strong appeal in the European market. From exquisite crocheted silverwork to beautifully carved tagua pendants, their distinctive products are made with care and skill from locally-sourced and ethical materials where possible.
Just Trade currently works with eight groups of fair trade artisans in Peru, Ecuador, India and Vietnam.