Friday, 12 September 2014

Designer Spotlight // Ethical jewellery brand, Made

***UPDATE We have currently sold out of pieces from Made, but take a look at our current collection from A Peace Treaty, who also create beautiful ethically made designs***

One of the latest additions to the Apache Rose family is the fab fair-trade and ethical jewellery brand, Made. Creating beautiful, quality, fashion-led statement jewellery pieces, Made have built a sustainable social enterprise in Kenya that now employs over 6o people. We wanted to find out a little bit more about this fascinating company, how they started and what makes them tick. Here they answer a few of our questions and allow us an insight into their intriguing world. Many thanks to Lizzie at Made for taking the time to talk to us.

Where does Made draw their inspiration for designs from?
Our head designer, Frances, works closely with the team in Kenya to create collections which reflect the beauty and culture of Kenya, whilst also drawing from current fashion trends. It is important to us that we create a product that is wearable and current, whilst also remaining true to it's roots.  Every piece of Made is crafted by hand using a really unique blend of traditional methods and we hope this is reflected in the character of our products.

How important is it to be ethically minded in today's fashion world?
It is extremely important to us to run our business in a way that always benefits the people and communities with whom we work.  It's not easy, but it is what motivates us to continue to grow and develop as a brand and a business. Tragedies such as the Rana Plaza are a heartbreaking testament to the very real ramifications of the demand for 'fast fashion'. It is our responsibility as manufacturers, retailers (and consumers) to demand change through complete transparency of the manufacture and supply of our consumables. We hope that Made is proof that it is possible to create a thriving, growing brand using ethical and transparent business practice.

What's the story behind Made, how did it begin?
Made was born from the desire to harness the skills and creativity of artisans in Kenya to create a business model that would provide individuals and their communities with economic empowerment through sustainable employment.  Made started by employing just one artisan in Kibera, Nairobi's slum, and has since grown to employ in excess of 60 full time staff members at our workshop on the outskirts of Nairobi - as well as various artisan groups in Kenya.

What does the future hold for Made?
We have lots of exciting plans for the near and longer term future here at Made. We are excited to be working on a new gold collection later this year as well as several very special collaborative collections next year.  We are looking forward to continuing to grow the Made brand globally and what that means for our team in Kenya and the community projects we support.


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