Published on January 13th, 2014 | by Charu Suri
3 How Nkuku?s Locally-Sourced Crafts Benefit the Artisans
Nowadays, it is not hard-pressed to find well-crafted items that don?t have a ?Made in China? label. Nkuku, an artisanal crafts company with a keen eye for sourcing goods that give back to the maker, is one to watch.
I first brushed shoulders with Nkuku at the Gifts Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York. Their stall?s unique wares, from Mali pottery to hand-painted enamelware with popping colors and motifs of birds was eye-catching. But I wanted to know more: where were the items sourced? Do they give back to the community? If so, how?
Hand-crafted pottery from Pondicherry, India
Enamelware from Nkuku?s spring line
Nkuku, as it turns out, specializes in eco-friendly, and fair trade pottery and crafts?music to my ears. There?s nothing I love more than to benefit independent craftsmen across the world, and now I found one site that offers beautiful gifts and wares that accomplish both.
Alexandra Cooke from the company says, ?The focus is fair trade, and the company has been inspired by skills of artisans from Africa and India.? Fusing modern design with age-old traditions yields beautiful results, as you can see. I remember eating from stainless-steel tiffin boxes in school, but I would have loved to take the red hand-painted tiffin carrier from Kashmir.
Beautiful hand-painted enamel tiffin boxes from Kashmir, India
The gorgeous khaki and cream Mali pottery from Pondicherry, India, is another example of how Nkuku provides employment to marginalized men and women, while offering them the chance to produce beautiful goods, since 1985. There is a wide range of crafts to choose from: pick out a set of enamelware cups and pitchers (now, they come in beautiful spring colors of green and taupe); purchase a few hand-crafted mugs for your daily coffee; jazz up your plain doorknob with these colorful Daha options.
It?s pretty wonderful how you can benefit communities from around the world without leaving your house. Sometimes being an armchair traveler and shopper isn?t altogether a bad thing. For more inspired retail therapy, visit the site.