Kenyan Jewellers Turn Old Trends Into Eco Fashion Chic

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I’ve been flaunting the Juzi necklace and have been amazed not only by its beauty but also by the high quality of workmanship.

You could get lost just studying the intricacy and detail in each bead, marvelling at what they are made from and thinking about the people making them in Kenya.

“Oh, and I do love the goodness behind eco-fashion!” writes Green Lashes and Fashion, an international beauty and fashion news blog.

“In the most stunning proof yet that being Kenyan is an absolute selling point in western markets, Juzi beads have risen from launch only a year ago to win rave reviews all over the world, on the back of their uniquely Kenyan origins.

Juzi beads are made from old newspapers and magazines, hence the name “juzi,” Kiswahili word for yesterday.

Most of the recycled materials are locally sourced, and even include posters, calendars and bottle tops, all then handcrafted by Juzi’s three Kenyan co-operatives.

The beads now come in every colour and form, across necklaces, light or chunky bracelets, brooches and earrings.

“Juzi is a jewellery label with a difference. These ethical and eco-fashion accessories made in Kenya are now the decisive jewellery in fashion across the world, created by Kenyan women, in Kenya,” said Nancy Randall, British jewellery designer and the label’s founder.

Nancy, who has led the way in marketing the Kenyan brand, has always had a strong passion for the country.

It was this, combined with her interest in environmental conservation that saw her turn to marketing the eco-friendly fashion accessories, following her work with Kenyan groups in developing the beads and their designs during 2008.

“The main objective of Juzi is to supply quality, fair trade, and recycled accessories from Kenyan communities for appreciation within the global arena. A year on from the launch, we have made excellent progress in the UK and the European markets. Juzi is now sold in nine countries across the globe,” said Nancy.

It’s a success that has seen the accessories rise in Kenya too.

“Here in Kenya, Juzi beads have acquired a devoted fellowship. Their magic is noticeable every time you see a person wearing them or make a stopover at a curio shop and see the many customers enthralled by their beauty. We are also inspired by the eco-fashion trend it has caused and the result has been impressive. We have in return become devoted to crafting stunning beads for the keen Juzi customers all over the world,” said Lilian Omondi, Production Coordinator for Juzi in Kisumu.

The beads, which have earned a reputation for their quality, vibrancy and innovative designs, have constantly improved in design in order to deliver beautiful pieces that appeal to Juzi’s customers.

This has been a big part of Juzi’s emerging competitive strategy for ensuring that the Juzi beads move, and stay, ahead of the many other beads in the global fashion market.

“To beat competition, we are constantly introducing new designs and the feedback we receive from customers is great. To continue to grow and be successful, we need to continue to deliver quality and new designs to ensure we keep all of our customers and ultimately Kenyan communities moving forward,” said Nancy.

This is essential, she said, in foreign markets where there is always tough competition from India, South America and the Far East.

The key is to constantly and relentlessly strive to improve the designs, currently marketed in four collections, namely Flava, Aloe, Ozoroa and Molle.

The results are startling pieces of eco-friendly art that are continuing to take the world by storm.

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“Juzi’s exciting range of vibrant coloured versatile beads appeal to very green girl in the world,” concludes Green Lashes and Fashion.

It is a view that has quickly become widespread, with some media organisations in the UK so impressed by the brand, and the employment it has created, that they have even shipped free back-copies of their own magazines to Kenya for the Juzi co-operatives, with this, people have started to love jewelry even more, some even see gifts at adinasjewels.com, for them it is a way of giving that special someone a unique present.

Says Nancy: “I have an enduring love of Africa and am very passionate about Juzi. Supporting the local Kenyan communities and working with them on new designs has been inspirational for me and I am very excited about what the future holds for Juzi within the global fashion market. If this makes me a pioneer, I will be very happy.”

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