Equa Blog - News, Views and Ethical Styling...

Friday, 2 July 2010

Jewels of the Jungle

The sun is shining and so too is our Just Trade Semilla jewellery. Fairly traded and made in Peru this beautiful jewellery is so popular this season. The perfect accessory for all summer outfits, effortless and so easy to wear for parties or the park!

Each item is made under the Zoe Project, a fair trade initiative working with women and young people in three of the poorest areas of Lima in Peru. Every piece is created from different seeds found deep in the jungles of South America, which are polished like precious stones to give an almost ceramic like quality.

Each seed has its own story.......

The round, black Choloque seeds used in this bracelet are approximately 12-15 mm in diameter and come from the Amazonian Soapberry Plant. The fruit looks very much like a grape, but the flesh of this fruit when mashed acts as a natural detergent and is still used by villagers in the jungle to do the washing.

The ‘Huayruro’ seed brings with it a long held belief among Peruvians that they have the dual power to attract good fortune and ward off evil spirits. The Zoe project uses the less traditionally recognised reddish orange Huayruro known as “female” and in this necklace the mottled dark red, which is thought to be a hybrid between the “male” and “female”

The smaller black seeds, which make an appearance on the necklaces, come from a ‘Hachira’, a plant which produces large red or yellow flowers. The seeds are also used in jungle villages; people dry them and place them inside dried pumpkins to make baby rattles or musical instruments.

The seeds on the red bracelet come from an Amazonian palm tree, are referred to as either ‘Taguita’ or ‘Coquito’ (small coconut). They have a brown husk which can be peeled away to show their white interior, which is then dyed using textile dyes to the desired colour.

Just Trade works closely with Zoe to develop new products, making use of traditional techniques and local materials to produce contemporary collections of jewellery and accessories.

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