Style That Gives Back: Thanda Zulu Beaded Jewelry

Waterfall Cascade Pearl Necklace.

Last week we kicked off our series focusing on Fair Trade trend items and we’re thrilled to be back again with our second installment. The Fair Trade community is an exciting and inspiring one and every item has its own background. This week we’re showcasing a set of magnificent beaded bracelets from Thanda Zulu, a socially conscious design company that brings hope to the rural communities of South Africa. Their jewelry, made by some of the most talented beaders in the world, has been featured in Nylon and InStyle . Most importantly, however, the women who craft these exquisite pieces are able to fully support their families and donate the remaining proceeds to Thanda After-School programs. They are given a hand-up, and not a hand-out. Keep reading to learn more about their story.

Thanda Zulu Slinky Bracelet in Kalahari

Thanda Zulu was founded in 2005 as a means of supporting South African artisans and beaders. It also helped fund the work of Thanda, a non-profit organization of Orphans Against AIDS, which address high HIV infection rates, education, and excessively high unemployment rates in Umtwalume, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The women of the Zulu Beadwork Project craft all of Thanda Zulu’s jewelry and they are, without a doubt, some of the most skilled beaders in the world.

Thanda Zulu Sweetie Bracelts in Honey Suckle and Sage. Available at select campus bookstores.

Each product is carefully crafted with both pride and love and anyone lucky enough to purchase one of these items, takes a little piece of Africa home with them. Beaded jewelry is a trend we absolutely LOVE for Summer 2012 and Thanda Zulu pieces combine a classic sense of design with contemporary color palettes. The skills these artisans possess have been passed down through the generations and the end result is a beautiful thing. The real beauty, however, is the support these products provide for the rural communities of South Africa.

Look good. Do good. Feel good. Can style get any better?

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