How It's Made
In the workshop that Naseem and Nasima lead, the artisans craft earrings and necklaces from bone they purchase at a government-run bone market. The market sources this material as by-products from farms, restaurants, and slaughterhouses throughout the region (the bone is mainly from water buffalo). Just how do they up-cycle bare bones into stunning, vibrant jewelry. Once the bone is shaped, the artisans at the workshop color the pieces with vibrant pigments.
Rather than using chemical-intensive dyes with health and environmental hazards that are commonly used in the industry, the cooperative introduced the artisans to AZO-free and natural dyes, along with techniques that create richer, longer-lasting colors.The artisans string the bone pieces and brass beads through wire by hand to transform the miscellaneous components into gorgeous jewelry. As these photos show, this is an incredibly intricate step requiring great attention to detail! The metal in our jewelry is brass – if it appears to be silver or gold, it’s been electroplated. The shapes are either die-cut or casted with a mold, and wood and bone components are mostly cut by hand. Once all the components have been formed, they’re assembled by hand into necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings.
“Mata Traders is a design driven, fair trade brand helping to end global poverty and inspire consumers to change the fashion industry. Made by artisans in India and Nepal, our colorful and original designs provide a stable source of income for families in marginalized communities."
A little about India
India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It has a very diverse population that consists of thousands of ethnic groups and likely hundreds of languages.