What lovely earrings and broaches! The colors, brown and ivory white, generate a feeling of natural texture. Not only earrings and broaches but necklaces are also available. Can you guess what they are made of?
Plastic? No! Ivory? No way! Today, it is prohibited to poach elephants. However, I would say that “ivory” is closest to the answer. These accessories are made of tagua palm seeds, which are called “plant ivory.”
Tagua trees grow in the tropical regions of South America. Tagua palm is spiky, and there are four seeds inside. When palm fruits become ripe and fall to the ground, they are gathered and dried for about two years until they become hard like ivory. That is the reason why tagua is called plant ivory. The fashion industry has begun to pay special attention to tagua, which can be an alternative to elephant ivory. The replacement of ivory with tagua can contribute to wildlife protection.
In Columbia, women are making accessories from tagua with the support of a British enterprise, Artisan Life. Tagua creates income generating opportunities for Columbian women. Through Artisan Life, tagua accessories are sold in the global market. The other day, when our global mom, Yasuko, went to a fair trade shop, Love & Sense in Osaka, Japan, she bought a tagua necklace. She looks so happy, contributing to wildlife protection and women’s economic empowerment, namely, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For further information about Artisan Life, please click on the link below.