Sweet Cavanagh: Making jewellery to combat eating disorders

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Over 725,000 men and women in the UK are affected by eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Although serious, eating disorders are treatable conditions and full recovery is possible once the sufferer gets help. I don’t think eating disorders are spoken about enough and for a sufferer, one of the hardest steps to recovery is admitting that something is wrong. Even then the cost of inpatient care is staggering and the strain on the NHS means that many people do not get the help they desperately need or leave treatment early.

Free Me is a charity working to bridge the gap between the recovery services offered by the NHS and getting back to everyday life. Based in London, Free Me owns the jewellery brand and social enterprise Sweet Cavanagh. Free Me open their doors to women recovering from eating disorders and additions. Through Sweet Cavanagh they teach the women how to make and design jewellery and then sell it on their website. Not only is the process of making jewellery therapeutic in itself, but the members are given the chance to learn about the business side of the enterprise, boosting their skills and confidence. If an eating disorder has dominated your life for quite some time, perhaps causing you to drop out of school or postpone exams, the creativity and purpose generated by being part of a productive group can be a lifeline at a time of feeling lost and alone.

The therapeutic benefits of jewellery making are enhanced by the weekly support groups and nutrition counseling. All of these services are free of charge. Research has proven that jewellery making can augment one’s wellbeing by increasing self esteem and reducing stress and anxiety; all of which can decrease risk of relapse. Sweet Cavanagh also gives women an opportunity to become self-employed as jewellery designers and creators by paying each woman a living wage for each piece of theirs that sells.

So, what do they create?

Necklaces, bracelets, beads and upcycled vintage pieces. Browse online by type or individual designer.

I love this necklace made with a vintage scarf clip, £34.99
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. . . this bracelet, £25. What a beautiful shade of green.
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. . . and all of the Mala beads (prayer beads) which have been used in meditation for centuries.
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See more at http://sweetcavanagh.com/

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Mindful, Fair Trade Jewellery by Mosami

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Jewellery can be so much more than adornment. Often we attach deep meaning to pieces because they were a gift, an heirloom, a memory, a way of saying thank you, well done or I love you. The pieces by Mosami can mean all of these things, but importantly they also come with a symbolism of their own. Mosami is a brand combining beautiful jewellery design with the benefits of mindfulness, a feature I find captivating. If you seek to find greater courage, success or happiness, there is an ethically crafted piece to suit your mood along with an accompanying simple mindfulness ritual to practice whenever the moment takes you.

Mosami was founded by Sarah Greenaway, a woman passionate about sustainability, peace and beautiful things. We met up over coffee to chat about her plans for Mosami, my plans for Ethical High Street and the global need to continue moving towards a greener economy. Mosami pieces (necklaces, earrings and bracelets) are made from recycled or Fairtrade silver. As Sarah explained, she’d like to use more Fairtrade silver but as it is fairly new on the market, availability cannot currently keep pace with demand. In fact, with just one Fairtrade certified mine in the world, Sarah is part of a small group pioneering the Fairtrade metal. The silver is sourced from Sotrami, a mine in Peru where a dedicated team have worked hard to gain Fairtrade accreditation.

All of the Mosami pieces are designed by British designers and made by men and women highly skilled in their craft. Mosami aims to raise awareness of the shocking environmental impact of artisanal mining, offering jewellery that is beautiful to wear, and made with respect for people and planet.

So how does Mosami team jewellery with mindfulness?

“With a little practice jewellery can do more than just remind us of happy times passed, it can remind us to make positive choices for a happy future too. Mosami pieces are created to inspire beautiful personal rituals that blend empowering thought patterns with everyday routine”

Just as Buddhist prayer beads help aid meditation, Mosami show you how to use their pieces to take time out and focus your thoughts. I love the Wisdom Cuff (£125) that Sarah was wearing when we met. Made from 100% Fairtrade silver the “Words to Live By” cuffs are a tribute to the Celtic reverence for the wise oak. Each is decorated with oak leaves and acorns, and discreetly inscribed with words of wisdom from icons of more recent times.

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Not only do the inscribed quotes by Mother Theresa, Mahatma Ghandi and Charlie Chaplin provide a mindful thought to empower you through the day, but the bracelet itself can provide reminder to be true to your own wisdom as you gently touch the hand-beaten metal as a reminder to slow down and take a mindful moment.

Browsing online you can shop by product, wish and ritual. So –

to improve positive thinking and to feel lucky every day try the Lucky Day Clover Necklace (£70) and accompanying Lucky Day ritual.

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Or be reminded of your inner happiness with the Marigold necklace (£60) and accompanying happiness ritual.

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You can shop Mosami online at: www.mosami.co.uk

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