Profile: The Root Collective

 

Who doesn’t love receiving beautiful things in the mail? When they come from a company like The Root Collective, where you can trace the origins of all their beautiful items, it’s all the better!

I love companies like this, with so much information about where your products come from. They have a range of jewellery, accessories and of course beautiful shoes, and I was lucky enough to stumble upon them during the sale season (which is still going on by the way, so go go go!)

Have a look at this page to understand more about their mission and what they hope to achieve.

I bought two bangles, a necklace, a pair of earrings and a pair of shoes, and was thrilled to discover they deliver to Hungary! All three of my jewellery pieces were handmade in Peru, and the shoes were made in a slum in Guatemala. Here’s more information about some of the things I bought:

calabaza gourd calabaza gourd 2

I’ve worn these to work and received loads of compliments. The textures on the surface are also really nice, since they’ve been painted and carved. They are both light, as you would expect considering thy’re made from hollowed-out gourds, but are also surprisingly strong. I’m a ridiculous klutz and the fact I haven’t managed to break them yet speaks volumes!

spate gourd spate gourd 2

These are stud earrings, which I normally don’t like, but the colours and design were too beautiful to resist! They’re handmade in Peru, using silver backing, and the design is painted and carved onto dried gourd. TRC have gone so far as to even tell you the different parts of Peru that the silver and the gourd comes from, which really is great! The texture on the surface of these is also really nice.

earrings earrings 2

Here’s another great feature of Root Collective’s products – you can choose one of two organisations to donate your 10% give-back to. The Neema Project is based in Kenya and Lemonade International is based in the US and works in Guatemala.

 

The Root Collective has a page for each of these groups, so you can make an informed choice, and split your purchase evenly between helping out both!

Established in 2008 in Kitale, Kenya, Neema Project has a simple mission to save young women from some of the terrible realities of their surroundings. Some of these situations include prostitution, expulsion from school due to teen pregnancy and being sold as child brides. Neema provides housing for girls in desperate situations and day-school programs where they teach basic life skills, specific skill training (such as jewelry making), counselling and, most importantly, provide the girls with love and acceptance. Currently, Neema Project is able to assist thirty young women.

Neema-MG4_2768

The ultimate goal of Neema Project is to impact these young women so they can encourage their communities and families. Also, they hope the new skills the young girls learned will affect their environment in powerful ways.

They recently opened a production facility to help transition the girls after they graduate and provide additional income. Purchases from The Root Collective will help support the women during and after their graduation.

I split my give-back between Neema and Lemonade International. Both of these pages have a dearth of information about the different projects they are working on, which your money can help fund.

Lemonade International is a US-based non-profit community development organization working in partnership with local Guatemalan leaders and in solidarity with the people of the La Limonada (“The Lemonade” in English) community of Guatemala City – Central America’s largest urban slum. The story of Lemonade International began in 1994, with the efforts of Tita Evertsz, a local Guatemalan woman who had a heart for the people in the slum.

limonada

Tita established Vidas Plenas (“Fulfilled Lives” in English) in 2001 as a Guatemalan NGO and the first Escuelita (Little School) was established, providing prevention programs, a spiritual safe haven, education, healthy meals, hygiene and plans to provide students with scholarships to attend formal schools in Guatemala City.

Lemonade International, the US-based arm of Vidas Plenas, was formed in 2008, after the Cummings family and several other founding members, visited La Limonada and came alongside of Tita to support her efforts and fundraise to expand the school. Their work now includes six holistic community development programs through which they are committed to working in solidarity with the people of La Limonada to empower sustainable transformation in the community.

Purchases from The Root Collective help provide jobs to several artisans in the community.

It took about a month and a half for me to receive them, but that’s mostly my fault since I have been travelling for a lot of March. It was packaged fantastically, and was in Hungary within a month of the order!

On a separate-but-related note, TRC have excellent customer service! I left a note with my order saying I would like to blog about these products, and asked them for a contact email. They wrote to me within a day and they have been keeping me in touch with the order and information useful for this post. It’s great to not only get such beautiful things, but to receive them from such an interesting company, who genuinely care about their mission, work with artisans across the world, and give you so much information about the impact your purchase can have! Highly recommended, and I now know where I’m going to get all my shoes from!

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