Dsenyo is pleased to announce our new partnership with Mulberry Mongoose, a budding artisan initiative in South Luangwa, in rural Zambia neighboring our Malawian partners. These artisans craft jewelry inspired by the African bush, its rich and diverse flora and fauna. They use locally and ethically sourced materials, such as guinea fowl feather, freshwater pearl, wooden debris, and snare wires. We are excited to offer you this new boutique jewelry collection.
Mulberry Mongoose was established just last year by Kate Wilson. The initiative has provided training and employment for three local women who craft jewelry, and is sponsoring business education for another young woman who is working to help grow the business. Mulberry Mongoose currently works with a local carpenter to craft the wood beads, and this year is launching a training program for carpentry and metal work to bring bead making in house.
While jewelry making is not common to this part of South Luangwa, Zambian artisans are creative and technically skilled. Employment on the safari is scarce, especially for women. As Kate told me, “I love employing the local women; they impress me with their work ethic and they really are friendly and positive despite dealing with a lot in their own lives. It's exciting being able to give back through creating a commercial enterprise around what I am passionate about.”
Aside from this passion for women’s empowerment and beautiful design, Mulberry Mongoose is committed to giving back to their community. The Snare Wire Collection is crafted from snare wires collected during anti-poaching controls. Poaching of wildlife, such as lions, leopards, and elephants, is a serious concern in South Luangwa. For every piece of snare wire jewelry sold, typically $5 is donated to help fund anti-poaching patrols. In under two years, the group has already made over $15,000 to support local anti-poaching efforts.
The other materials used are sustainably and ethically sourced. Feathers and driftwood are collected for jewelry use as is vegetable ivory (tagua) from local palm nuts. The abalone shell, antique Ethiopian silver beads, charms, and semi-precious stones are imported from South Africa and the UK.
We hope you like our new collection of sustainable and ethical fashion jewelry! You can find it on our website here. We look forward to your thoughts and feedback!
Written by, Alison Hanson