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How Krobo Beads Help Fight Poverty in Africa

Traditional African jewelry lends itself to more than just a colourful body adornment. It has the ability to express cultural heritage, symbolism and meaning – regardless of who is wearing it. Perhaps this is why Krobo beads, such as those we sell at The Bead Chest- are turning heads. They are also used in the creations of notable eco-jewellery designers such as Susan Allen and Global Mamas; a Ghanian co-operative set up to provide native women the opportunity to earn their own income. Krobo necklaces in particular are becoming a popular accessory within mainstream fashion, favoured for their bold hues and chunky aesthetics. The fact that these necklaces are also hand-crafted by women of origin, further add to the “vintage” and ethical appeal. Since 2004, Krobo beads have been dominating the world of fashion jewellery, most notably in the runway collections of “high art” fashion houses such as Mirza Mpérial and StudioD-Maxsi. Both are U.S based, yet have a close affiliation with the not-for-profit organization: Fashion Fights Poverty. The established charity has been working to connect the artisans of Africa with up-and-coming designers. Fashion Fights Poverty are a multi-national entity; committed to showcasing “ethical and eco fashion” from around the world. The annual Fashion Fights Poverty showcase is a catwalk fashion-show and eco-fair held in a different city of the United States each year. 2009 concentrated upon “ReFashion”, promoting the reconsideration of ethics, reaction to poverty challenge, and rediscovery of the “craftsmanship and creativity” that develops unique and beautiful clothing. Both Mirza Mpérial and StudioD-Maxsi featured stunning cat-walk collections, sections of which showed considerable influence from traditional African craftsmanship. Krobo bead necklaces completed the elegant silk cocktail dresses and matador blouses of Mirza Mpérial, while the Rénee Geneva collection popularized beautiful Krobo-made pieces with eco-friendly fashions, made from hemp and recycled leather. Fashion Fights Poverty work to provide the artisans of Ghana, Africa, Asia and the Middle East an outlet, by which they can showcase the craftsmanship handed down through generations. The organization actively work to improve the returns to craftspeople, many of which would not have a sustainable income without the sale of their wares. Old Krobo beads were once a currency; a trade token by which food and sustainable supplies could be bought. Now, these beautiful bold beads are forming the statement finish to necklaces that are growing increasingly popular within mainstream “boho” fashion, providing artisans with the sustainable livelihoods they so deserve. You can help support the poverty fighting initiative when shopping our very own stunning collection of fancy powder Krobo beads - produced in the increasingly popular earthen colours of green, brown and cobalt blue. By shopping our vibrant array of Krobo beads, you are helping to support the emerging local economies within Africa, sustaining the livelihoods of native artisans and doing your "bit" for the environment.