6 Reasons Why You Should Love PICHULIK
There’s a movement happening in Africa – creative young people returning from overseas, intent on bringing modern versions of traditional crafts to the western market. PICHULIK, one of the more unusual jewellery designers, is one of these companies and has been getting some serious attention with their statement accessories. So here are six reasons why you should get to know this multi award-winning design brand.
1. A company that is run by women, for women, to empower women:
Ask PICHULIK about their pieces and they’ll say they are bold pieces for brave women made by brave women. At the heart of this group of South African jewellery designers is Katherine-Mary PICHULIK the founder and creative lead supported by a core of strong women. PICHULIK’s production model uses both in-house and outsourced skills, but always women and always in a way that supports their broader roles in the community. This commitment to women extends deep into their design soul too, with the pieces heavily influenced by tribal symbols used in the sharing of female knowledge. With all this influence it’s no surprise that their african inspired jewellery is designed to look beautiful on all types of women. Like they say, by women, for women, to empower women.
2. Pieces are bold, beautiful and easy to wear:
The first thing you notice is that PICHULIK certainly do make bold jewellery and much of their work you’d consider statement accessories particularly their striking neckpieces. If you like eye-catching pieces from unusual jewellery designers then you are in the right place. Strong colours are a feature, as is the quirky use of bells and pom-poms. The other thing you notice when you put a piece on, is how incredibly light and comfortable they are. These pieces are made to be worn all day – no digging, chaffing or irritation that comes with so much bold jewellery. You can definitely tell that these are made by women – striking and comfortable is a rare combination.
3. They are champions of traditional African culture:
One of the great things about much of PICHULIK’s bold jewellery is that it is influenced by traditional African tribal designs but not overwhelmed by them. The jewellery is contemporary and made for the modern woman to easily wear and enjoy everyday. The tribal inspiration in the work gives their pieces a deeper meaning and edge, and (hopefully) helps foster a curiosity and appreciation of traditional cultures. It’s a good feeling to have someone comment on a piece you’re wearing and be able to tell them there is more to it than just great design – but let’s face it great design helps too!
4. They are making a viable market for traditional crafts:
Everyone has been on a holiday somewhere and seen local artisans making unique tribal jewellery. The problem is that these items don’t easily translate into our modern lives and are often difficult or impossible to wear back home. If local artisans can’t make a living from selling their crafts then there is a real risk that these skills will get lost over time. A new way of solving this problem is to work these traditional crafts into items that have a modern aesthetic and appeal to a broad market. Some of the more interesting and unusual jewellery designers are starting to combine traditional design and construction to create a modern, wearable product and ultimately a path to a western market. Not many traditional African pieces could be worn in the office or out to dinner, but PICHULIK is part of a new wave that is making bold jewellery that can do just that.
5. They are empowering women in local communities:
So now you’ve got a modern, wearable product that remains connected to strong female traditions – what next? This is where this unusual jewellery designers influence is really seen. PICHULIK works in their local community to support ethical outsourcing so women can earn a living wage from home and still meet their childcare and family responsibilities. The women who work with PICHULIK are also offered education, training and employment so ultimately they have valuable employment and life skills that they can use themselves and pass on within their communities. And finally their African inspired jewellery is constructed in South Africa which means that knowledge and skills are gained, developed and ultimately passed on within the local jewellery industry.
6. They are eco-friendly:
Sourcing local materials and recycling in a place like Africa is not just a good idea, it’s a necessity. In using 90% locally manufactured and sourced materials for their pieces PICHULIK is connected to a long held African tradition – take what is readily available and make use of it. And, if the “use” is incredibly beautiful statement accessories – all the better. PICHULIK construct their pieces primarily from polypropylene rope making them strong, striking and comfortable to wear, but as polypropylene is a 5 on the carbons emissions index using new rope was never going to work. The solution is using rope that has been repurposed to make their beautiful pieces, also making them one of the more unusual jewellery designers you are likely to come across.
If you’re interested in finding out more about PICHULIK visit their site.