Jewelry with a story to tell
When my boys were toddlers they used to tug on my earrings and necklaces until they broke or I bled-so for many years jewelry hasn’t been an option. My boys are a bit older now and they aren’t constantly pulling on me and/or my jewelry, but I still don’t typically wear a lot of jewelry.
As a green living consultant and blogger, I’m always on the lookout for indie companies that are making a difference in the world. I found one in Zulugrass Jewelry from the Leaky Collection. Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying out some of their pretty cool, eco-friendly, jewelry. I’ve discovered that this company is more than just the jewelry they sell-the company gives the gift of opportunity to those in need by providing jobs to over 1,200 Kenyans.
Founders of Zulugrass
Zulugrass jewelry was founded in 2001 by Philip and Katy Leakey who live in the Rift Valley of Kenya, East Africa, among the people of Maasai. Philip Leakey was a member of Kenyan Parliament for 15 years and is known for his dedication towards improving conditions for all Kenyan’s. Katy is an artist and designer.
How a business with a purpose is born
Zulugrass was born out of need. In 2001 there was a devastating drought in Kenya and the people of Maasai suffered tremendously. Their main source of income came from cattle herding and the cattle couldn’t survive the drought conditions. Another source of income was needed in order for the people of Maasai to survive. The Leakey’s came up with a single elastic strand of beads and a “design your own jewelry system”. Each piece of Zulugrass is designed by Katy and Philip Leakey and assembled by the Maasai women of Kenya. Using fair trade practices, the production of the Zulugrass jewelry encourages disadvantaged communities to participate in their own economic success. They use the income earned to buy land and other things that they might not otherwise be able to do.
What is Zulugrass?
Zulugrass is sold in individual strands or in multistrands and is available in a wide range of rich and beautiful colors. Natural grass beads are dyed gorgeous colors and then combined with Czech glass beads to create unique color combinations. They can be worn as necklaces, bracelets, hair ties, anklets and chokers (my personal favorite).
- All natural materials used in their products come from an environmentally sustainable source.
- They’re endorsed by the Fair Trade Federation and Green America.
- They use an environmentally sustainable practice to harvest the grass for their beads.
- The company is bringing money into a community in need and teaching the people about environmental awareness.
The cost for one strand is about $13.00. The prices go up from there-depending upon the number of strands and style.
What I love about the company
- Shopping for a cause-it just feels good to help someone else when making a purchase.
- The company has provided jobs to over 1,200 Kenyans.
- The jewelry is gorgeous, eco-chic and casual with bohemian flare.
- It’s waterproof-great for me when I forget to take it off in the shower.
- It travels well.
- All ages think the jewelry is pretty cool-my nieces loved it too (4 and 7)
If you’re looking for a gift-for yourself or someone else-take a peek at their assortment of jewelry . You can look funky and hip while knowing you are also helping someone in need.
Disclosure: Zulugrass was kind enough to send me a few strands of their jewelry for this review. The opinions are all my own.