A new series profiling Fair Trade and Ethical brands at AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair.
How many years has Afribeads operated in Australia?
AfriBeads partnered with a group of female artisans in Uganda in 2009 to create opportunity for them by selling beautiful hand-made jewellery, baskets and bags inspired by their African heritage.
Each of our pieces is handmade and handwoven to reflect the traditional craftsmanship of the artisans. We aim to bring regular work and fair wages to enable them to become financially independent and live their lives with dignity.
Tell us about the artisans behind your products. How did you get started working with them?
The AfriBeads artisans live in Kampala and previously were among the 60% of people in Uganda who are unemployed, living in poverty and unable to send their children to school. AfriBeads helps to provide a market so that artisans could live a better life and feed and educate their children.
Why is Fair Trade Certification important to you and how does Afribeads implement these processes?
Fair trade endorsement demonstrates that AfriBeads has undergone a stringent accreditation process to ensure the artisans are working under fair working conditions and that ethical practice is followed in all aspects of the business.
It provides buyers with the confidence that this is truly a brand that is ethically produced and cares about the person who makes the product.
What are the most popular design trends you have seen emerging in your field?
AfriBeads jewellery is entirely hand-made out of recycled and plain paper that is rolled and lacquered into unique styles. Bold and chunky statement earrings are increasingly popular this season, while our beautiful long multi-coloured necklaces are an enduring favourite.
In homewares, the striking designs of the hand-woven baskets and platters appeal to those seeking texture and African style - most popular in black and white. Our newest release is the hand-woven palm leaf shopping bag and we can’t keep up with demand!
Which pieces would you recommend to buyers looking for their next best-seller?
In jewellery, the stand out best-seller is the long multi-coloured necklace and the long single colour necklaces. Both wrap a couple of times around the neck, are light and easy to wear, can be dressed up or down, and fit in with the new season’s colour trends and air of easy elegance.
Our homewares range is on trend with the current love of African interiors – the baskets and platters look stunning as a wall display, while the hand-woven bags are exceptional for storage, shopping or a decorative casual touch to a living space.
Register now to see Afribeads, Stand F47, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 4-8 August 2018.