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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Win Lingerie by RUBY and Support the Save Our Seas Campaign

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RUBY has stood the test of time, and for over a decade now has been producing gorgeous accessories and lingerie handmade in South Africa. Founded by Robyn Lidsky in 2002, RUBY is a fashion-forward independent brand with a commitment to sustainable development and environmentally-friendly business practices. The RUBY Beading Circle that hand-beads and finishes a number of their items is a fair-trade, job-creation initiative born out of Robyn’s MA thesis in Sustainable Development. The initiative employs 35 women in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, utilising traditional skills and enabling local women to have a trade that supports their families. The first project for the RUBY Beading Circle involved customising jeans and accessories for Levi’s stores. RUBY has since been featured in the finale of America’s Next Top Model, in fashion magazines and in international ads and films.

RUBY craft and sell all manner of jewellery from sterling silver pendants to lockets and feather earrings. They upcycle coins, fossils and agates to create unique, covetable pieces available at very reasonable prices and shipped worldwide through their Etsy shop (You can pick up a sterling silver heart on silk thread for less than £10). The lingerie sets are equally fabulous, handmade in Cape Town in limited quantities using imported lace and the highest quality trims available. A regular at South African Fashion Week, RUBY lingerie is pretty yet highly wearable and also features hosiery and nightwear.

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As an independent brand with sustainability at their heart, RUBY use their position to raise awareness of environmental issues. They ran an anti-fracking campaign, and are now creating awareness for marine protection via their ‘Save Our Seas’ (SOS) campaign. The images weave in mermaid mythology to introduce key, critical messages about our oceans and how human behaviour is negatively impacting on the environment. Based on the Hawaiian proverb “Care for the ocean and the ocean will care for you”, the beautiful campaign was shot by South African underwater photographer Ilse Moore, whose ethereal style sat perfectly with RUBY’s key message.

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To help promote this heart-felt message, RUBY is generously giving away 5 lingerie sets! To have a chance of winning please enter the raffle below by doing any or all of the following. 1 entry for each option, up to 4 chances to win.

follow RUBY on Twitter
• tweet about the giveway
like RUBY on Facebook
favourite the Etsy shop

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The competition closes on Sunday 16th March 2014 and winners will be notified shortly after.
Good luck!

The Winners!
Thank you to everyone to took part in the competition. The 5 lucky winners are as follows:
Judy
Jane Templeman
Christine Shelley
Joan
Debby Brown

Well done ladies! If you weren’t lucky this time keep following RUBY for future giveaways – I have insider knowledge that one is coming up soon!

www.ruby.co.za

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Soko Connecting African Artisans to Ethics Conscious Consumers Worldwide

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Soko offers a revolutionary way for consumers worldwide to buy ethically made artisan goods direct from the African continent. Women produce 60%-80% of African goods but collectively receive only 10% of the income. Indeed, more than 85% of women in Sub-Saharan Africa are self-employed in the informal economy, often producing handmade goods to sell in the local marketplaces. Launched in 2002, Soko provides a platform to empower these talented women and allow them to trade on a global level. Using innovative technology, artisan makers can upload their seller profile, product images and product descriptions via their mobile phone, often via Soko’s Android app. Customers across the globe can then browse and buy online, like you would with any online shop, and money is transferred directly to the seller who can collect their earnings from a designated local kiosk – also the place that they can post their wares to the customer.

Instantly, artisans can trade at a whole new level; they don’t even need access to the internet. By removing the middle man, women can receive a fair price for their pieces and customers pay a fair price for a beautiful product. With a focus on jewellery, customers can choose from a wide range of gorgeous necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. Many of the best pieces can be found in the Kenya Collection. Fusing contemporary fashion with traditional African looks, Soko work closely with the artisans involved in the Kenya Collection, helping them to develop their skills and produce pieces which will appeal to a mass market. The enterprise is deeply entrenched in a fair trade model and by their very nature, the artisan pieces make use of natural and sustainable materials such as discarded bone and cow horn and recycled glass.

Soko Brass Necklace

Soko kindly sent me the stunning Brass Fringed Necklace to try for size. Made from three different thicknesses of hammered brass rod it sits beautifully around the neck. Statement necklaces are bang on trend right now and for the same price as many pieces on the high street; you could buy an ethical, handmade necklace through Soko and support women’s economic development. What I love about this piece is the fact that I can dress it up or down from day to night. It would look gorgeous with a tan in the summer teamed with a printed maxi dress, but it also has a festive vibe that could see me through the Christmas party season!

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I strongly believe in supporting artisan skills and empowering women through trade. Soko offers feel good fashion with no compromises. Why not check out the marketplace to learn more about the makers and browse the collection to start compiling your Christmas list?

Soko are offering readers 15% off until Friday 8th November with the discount code SokoLovesARS

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