Esnart Phiri rises above difficult circumstances to provide for herself and her six children. As a self-taught seamstress, she sews gift bags for the fair trade cooperative, Mulberry Mongoose, which is located in the South Luangwa Valley in Zambia. Jewelry by Mulberry Mongoose is packaged in Esnart’s elegant bags.

Esnart was given a sewing machine 10 years ago and taught herself to use it by watching a local tailor. She now runs her own small business and also works as a housekeeper. By working with Mulberry Mongoose, she has been able to both purchase a better sewing machine and pay for her children’s education. Fair trade entrepreneurship has transformed her life.

Today the jewelry of Mulbery Mongoose is sold on JesusEconomy.org, in partnership with Dsenyo, LLC. Together, our three companies are making fair trade products that empower women available to the world.

Mulberry Mongoose and Dsenyo promote fair trade jobs

Mulberry Mongoose is an artisan initiative in the South Luangwa Valley. Located in a remote area, Mulberry Mongoose artisans design and craft jewelry inspired by the African bush. They use locally and ethically sourced materials such as tagua, semi-precious stones, wooden debris, and collected snare wires.

Mulberry Mongoose is committed to giving back to the community and supporting conservation efforts. To fight poaching, the women in the Mulberry Mongoose cooperative created the recycled snare wire collection. From snares used in animal traps have come beautiful products. For every piece of snare wire jewelry sold, a $5 donation is made to nonprofits focused on wildlife conservation and anti-poaching efforts.

The local artisans at Mulberry Mongoose work with Dsenyo, a Jesus’ Economy partner. Together, we’re empowering female artisans from Africa and Latin America. Dsenyo works alongside artisans to improve situations for impoverished people, promote a holistic economy, respect cultural traditions, and build global relationships.

Dsenyo is also committed to limiting negative environmental impact, and uses sustainable dyes and fibers, such as buriti palm, jute, and organic cotton whenever possible. They compost organic scraps and repurpose textile remnants.

Featured Fair Trade Products by Mulberry Mongoose

The Kitana Necklace in Daybreak from Zambia

This beautiful necklace is the sum of many unique parts. The Kitana necklace is made from locally-sourced abalone and freshwater pearls. Its driftwood beads come from the banks of the South Luangwa, where heavy African rains twist and turn the landscape, bringing trees down from the banks. The crushing power of the water creates the beautiful forms of our driftwood pieces. Enjoy a piece of art from the ingenuity and creativity of the African bush. Pick up your Kitana necklace today.  

Earrings from Zambia: Tagua Leaf

The name Malaika is a strong girl’s name from Zambia meaning angel. The Malaika collection of jewelry is inspired by thoughts of angels. The tribal inspiration and strong natural elements featured in this collection are completed by using sustainable materials from the African bush. Stand out while supporting fair trade jewelry made in Zambia.

 

Jewelry that Fights Poaching

The Zimba Snare Wire jewelry collection makes a statement against poaching. Each item in the collection turns wire from poaching traps into jewelry. Help reshape the world by buying from this collection. For every piece of snare wire jewelry sold, a $5 donation is made to nonprofits focused on wildlife conservation and anti-poaching efforts. Support conservation with an incredible conversation piece from the Snare Wire jewelry collection.

Necklaces from Zambia: Snare Wire Long


See the entire collection of jewelry that fights poaching.

 

See more handmade products by Mulberry Mongoose in the JesusEconomy.org Fair Trade Shop.

Shopping fair trade can transform and empower artisans like Esnart. Join us in transforming lives through fair trade.

Today you are a world traveler.

You look out the windows of your sharp Manhattan apartment. The world below looks busy and crowded. People are running about on the street, selling things, dashing underground for the subway—getting in each other’s way. You sigh. For a simpler life, you think as you hail a cab to the airport.

The next afternoon your plane lands on the flat, grassy strip of runway at the Mongu airport. Western Zambia is warm this time of year, but not unbearable. A car awaits you and takes you to a nearby village the locals call the Village of Hope.

Stepping out of the car, your senses are entangled in your new surroundings. Rice filled with foreign spice is cooking in a kitchen somewhere.

There are children, bear-footed and dirty with sweat, kicking a soccer ball across a dusty field. A woman in a bright pattern skirt and shirt with a colorful cloth wound around her braided hair steps out from the largest of the buildings and calls the children to her. It’s time for school to start again. The late afternoon sun shines on their ruddy cheeks. The children run to their matron and she gathers them under her arm and into the large building.

Escaping, a little girl runs across the grassy field towards the home she shares with seven other children. The woman in the bright skirt looks imploringly at you to bring the little girl back. You run after the swift-footed child, by a playground, and finally into a small house. The wooden poles that form the walls of the house let in little shafts of light and the wind rustles softly through the thatching on the roof.

The child retrieves what she was after, a small green bear with the words, “from your American mom, Kathy” written on the side. The child flashes you a smile and escapes through the open door.

Back in your apartment in Manhattan, you sigh and pull down the shades to your bay windows. In your hand you hold a picture of the girl with the green bear. Her bright eyes and flashing smile move you to something, though you’re not sure exactly what. Putting down the picture, you turn and leave the room.  

Although this story is fictional, the Village of Hope really exists. Jesus’ Economy’s partner The Zambia Project founded the Village of Hope as a haven for orphaned children of men and women who died of HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, or one of the many other common illnesses that plague the impoverished of Zambia. The Hope Art bracelets sold in Jesus’ Economy’s fair trade store raise money to support the children in the Village of Hope. Now that you have seen the picture, what will you do?

Many women want to accessorize with items that are beautiful and unique—different from what everyone else is wearing. As graduations and summer are quickly approaching, what better way to show love to your friend or sister than purchasing them a lovely bracelet that is not only special in appearance, but also has a special story? 

Handmade, Recycled, and Fair Trade Bracelets from Zambia

The Hope Art bracelets, made in Zambia, are made from hand-rolled recycled paper beads, which makes them an environmentally sustainable product. There are many colors to choose from and each is unique.

Empowered Women Empowering Others through Fair Trade

The Hope Art bracelets are made by a group of impoverished, previously unemployed, and mainly HIV positive Zambian widows. But they don’t let these challenges stop them from helping the orphans in their community. In 2009, when the women of Mongu, Zambia realized how pressing the problem was, they decided to do something about it. These gorgeous bracelets are the result of their effort to create revenue for their orphanage.

The artisans who make these bracelets sold their products to Jesus' Economy's through Hope Art, a subsidiary of the Zambia Project. The Zambia Project is dedicated to church planting, Bible translation, and medical outreach. They also provide a training center for leadership development, and orphan and widow care. They are dedicated to empowering the people of Zambia to lift themselves out of poverty.

Bracelets that Represent What Business Should be About

Hope Art bracelet from ZambiaThese handmade bracelets are not only lovely—they represent what commerce should be all about. In addition to funding the Hope Art Orphanage and providing work for Zambian widows, your fair trade product purchase supports life transformation in other developing world communities.

As your summer gets busy and you want to find the perfect gift for someone who appreciates an artful, unique bracelet, consider buying them a Hope Art bracelet.

Your purchase of the Hope Art bracelet will be a way for you—and the person receiving your gift—to be a part of helping make the world a better place. Why not a buy wonderful bracelet for someone that will brighten their day and the days of the people who made it?