The Andean Collection is a collaborative effort of jewelry designer Amanda Judge and the artisans who utilize sustainable materials from the jungles of South America to create one of a kind items that are simply, out of this world, cool.
This socially conscious company not only fairly compensates its artists for their work, but allows them to take part in a profit sharing program where they become part owners of the organization as well. Right on!
When my Classic Tagua bracelet in the color grape arrived in the mail my jaw literally hit the ground. Created from the harvested tagua nut (a renewable resource growing on the outside of the ivory-nut palm tree, not harvested until after it has fallen), I was immediately impressed with the durability of the beads. Because of the inherent strength of this material it can be carved and polished to achieve a beautiful sheen.
It takes dye remarkably well and comes in 13 colors (three are currently sold out). All dyes used are designed for use on textiles and are non-toxic as well as environmentally safe. In addition to this every last drop of material is utilized either as jewelry, feed for animals, as fertilizer or even as fuel in kiln style ovens.
These bracelets do double duty, not only does their sale provide income to the artists who create them but because they reside within the rainforest, selling these beads is a way to stop further razing of this precious resource as well.
In addition to the tagua, there are five other sustainable materials utilized in the Andean Collection - coconut, Açaí berries, huayruro seeds, jaboncillo seeds and Pambil seeds.
The best part of all? The bulk of the collection is well under $50. The tagua is only $18; well worth the cost! Similar synthetic versions would likely be more expensive and would not come close to the unique appearance of this naturally occurring material.
In addition to the materials, the company as a whole is striving to lower their carbon footprint by recycling, using recycled paper for marketing materials and tags, using energy efficient lighting and they will also continue Fair Trade practices.
With such a strong eye on providing not only a beautiful product, but an environmentally and socially conscious one as well, I am granting Andean Collection a Four Leaf Rating!