Having successfully collaborated on a line of ethically produced jewellery for 2016’s
Autumn Winter season, we’re pleased to announce that Just Trade have once again joined forces with Laura Ashley to produce a new and exciting range of jewellery and accessories, designed and made exclusively for Laura Ashley to complement their upcoming Spring Summer clothing collection. The main inspiration behind the pieces lies in the quintessential English country garden potting shed and the pleasure of a nice cup of tea after a day spent outdoors.
With the brief for the collection decided upon, we started the process of designing and making alongside our many talented artisans from countries all over the world. Not only does this allow for the creation of a varied and diverse collection which best utilises the traditional handicraft skills of each maker from either Peru, Ecuador, India and Vietnam, it also stays true to the original handmade aesthetic which lies at the heart of Laura Ashley.
Take, for example, the new Strawberry tagua necklace. Inspired by the vegetable patch at the bottom of the garden and an afternoon cream tea, the piece lends itself brilliantly to
being expertly carved from this natural material, which is found growing in abundance in the
The tagua nut, otherwise known as ‘vegetable ivory’ is a sustainable, organic and versatile
alternative to animal ivory. The tagua nut must also go through many processes in order to
become the beautiful strawberry component of the necklaces you can now find in Laura Ashley
shops. Each nut starts its journey in the Sosote workshop where they are carved using disk sanders to achieve the basic required shape, before being polished to a high finish and finally hand engraved with any necessary design details. From here, they travel overnight by bus to the workshop of husband and wife duo Albert and Magdelena, where they are hand dyed with textile pigments before the final wire work is applied to each piece, once again, by hand. The final step in this labour intensive journey sees the finished tagua pieces arrive at the Just Trade studios where they are attached onto UK made, silver plated chains by – you guessed it – hand!
By fostering and utilising the talents of artisans such as Ronald, we are able to provide secure
work and a fair and regular wage to people living in the village of Sosote. Continuing to support
these makers is of utmost importance to our team, particularly in light of last year’s
earthquake which caused devastation to much of Ecuador.
The full range is available in store & at www.lauraashley.com