Just Trade…A Jewel in the Beautiful Business crown.
Beautiful Businesses have something special to offer and this one is no different. This is Just Trade and they specialise in beautiful Fair trade jewellery created by some of the most amazingly skilled crafts people around the world (www.justtrade.co.uk)
Image: Just Trade
Just Trade was founded in June 2006 by Laura and Melanie Cave. Laura had been volunteering in Peru since 1997, working with the Achkiy Fair Trade Jewellery Project. Everything stemmed from that initial involvement with those producer groups and being witness to the struggles they faced selling their goods. Just Trade was created to provide a route to market for a struggling fair trade project called Zoe Creations, in the shantytowns of Lima, Peru. So…the company was born out of first hand contact with real people in the developing world and the recognition that in order for such craft and artisan projects to be sustainable they need a long-term route to market for their goods.
They now have projects in Peru, Ecuador and India but always looking to expand. Each project is either started from scratch, or they have come upon pre-existing groups of artisans who are just lacking a steady route to market. Offering practical solutions for these artisan groups, they offer training and resources, and deal with every group personally, catering to their individual needs and making sure they visit their artisans at least once a year.
Combining traditional craft skills and materials with expert knowledge of contemporary jewellery, they have developed ranges of unique, characterful pieces with strong appeal in the European market. From exquisite crocheted silver work to beautifully carved tagua pendants, their distinctive products are made with care and skill from locally-sourced and ethical materials where possible.
They work collaboratively on the design of their products with the artisans who make them. By teaching the fundamentals of design, they give the artisans that they work with the tools to take an active part in the product development process, encouraging a sense of pride and ownership in their work.
We believe this collaborative approach makes for better products, and a happier, more fulfilled workforce. Together, these make for a sustainable business model. Plus, it’s fun. We organise competitions (what better way to find the perfect design for a crocheted bee?), and encourage the artisans to try new things and come forward with their own product ideas. New skills are learned and shared, enabling the projects to grow as knowledge spreads among the communities
The current team, a foursome of Laura, Lottie, Ali and Sophie is working hard with their craftspeople to bring innovative and attractive jewellery to market, keen to make sure it has the beautiful business touch. They say…
A major aspect of the way we work centres on design, we want people to love the jewellery, not just our ethics. We work with each of our artisans personally, which is rare with international supply chains. Our personal relationship with our producer groups allow us to grow and progress as a company quickly and comfortably.
Just Trade recognise the human element in what they do and the lives that people lead in the developing world. It is this which inspires the business to bring craft jewellery to market. Over the months Beautiful Business has brought you the stories behind the products we buy. Just Trade do this too. It helps when we know and understand people and their story. They tell me they have an abundance of stories about each and every member of the team and they are currently trying to pull together with photos etc, to eventually put up on their website. If you want to know more here are a few of their stories;
Primi & Bryan’s Story : http://www.blog.justtrade.co.uk/introducing-primi-bryan/
Cinthia’s Story : http://www.blog.justtrade.co.uk/introducing-cinthia/
The ‘Lads’ from Ecuador’s Story : http://www.blog.justtrade.co.uk/introducing-the-lads/
All the jewellery in the photos is on sale. If you want to know more about this beautiful business, their product range and / or simply want to say hello, you can visit their blog http://www.blog.justtrade.co.uk/history/ their website http://www.justtrade.co.uk or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
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