Sustainably Chic

Traditional Artisan Accessories with a Modern Touch

FashionNatalie Kay
 Hand beaded Kanó  Bracelet

Hand beaded Kanó Bracelet

 project junglechick

After working in the Fashion Industry, and realizing the lack of product coming from Venezuela, Irma Bravo set out to create a line of jewelry and accessories from her home country. Working with several different artisans, Project JungleCHICk puts its own flavor into the artisan's craft. I was able to see a bit of their studio through the computer {how awesome is it that technology enables us to do so}, and learn a bit of their design process. For example, Project JungleCHICk makes an order for an artisan to create a certain traditional bag. Once it arrives in the studio, they add on some trimmings and finishes to make it Project JungleCHICk ready. The collaboration part of this business makes it so appealing to me. Mixing old ways with new can turn out so perfect.

P.S. Tonight,  Instagram will be holding a Giveaway for the beautiful jewelry below until Monday 1/25! You could win:

Hand Braided Anaconda Bracelet, Hand Beaded Kanó Bracelet , Perla Negra Earrings with 18k gold {made with soapy seeds - Indigenous people use it in Venezuela's amazon to produce natural soap. These seeds are collected from the floor and boiled and JungleCHICk buys them from the community}, and Hand Cut & Hammered Neo Acacia Earrings.

Tell us about Project JungleCHICk and how sustainability is incorporated into your business.

Project JungleCHICk is a trademark brand of handmade accessories made in Venezuela with sustainable and ethical values. We offer a wide range of products since we work with many different artisans groups and diverse materials. We assure sustainable practices primarily by co-creating with artisans. After 7 years, about 50 artisans that before didn’t count on a stable source of income now receive continuous orders from Project JungleCHICk.

How did Project JungleCHICk begin? 

Project JungleCHICk began as a childhood dream to help promote the work of artisans from my home country Venezuela. I studied Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design in New York and later held designer positions at companies like Michael Kors, Jason Wu and Elie Tahari. It got my attention that many products were sourced in developing countries like mine because there was a specific raw material in the place. A good example of that are all the cotton or alpaca products made in Peru or hides from Argentina. I thought there were no products sourced in Venezuela and in 2008 I decided to return home and started researching about local raw materials that could be transformed by skilled artisans into quality designs for a global audience. 

What is #thinkinglongterm?

#Thinkinglongterm is a synonym of sustainability. At Project JungleCHICk those words embody all the actions we take to make this business model long lasting. By using local raw material we minimize the carbon footprint of our production processes and that is #ThinkingLongTerm. By helping artisans create their own enterprises and becoming community leaders we generate employment and alleviate poverty and that is #ThinkingLongTerm. By funding workshops to train new generation of artisans or by creating products that include traditional craftsmanship to preserve traditions we are #ThinkingLongTerm

Where do you find inspiration for your collections? 

The inspiration is also local. More than Venezuelan inspirations I would say our pieces have Latin American flair. Lots of color, bold shapes, but also classic appearance with a reminiscence of what we see in nature. JungleCHICk speaks about a personality. She is very feminine, cares about the environment and people. 

Perla Negra Necklace made with seed beads & 18k gold touches. This is a versatile piece - wrap around an extra time & wear as a choker {click link}. 

What are the future plans for Project JungleCHICk?

In 2016 we are working on consolidating the different artisans groups we work with. That means helping them to improve their working environment and their access to proper working tools. Also we need to grow our selling markets, that’s the only way we will be able to generate more employment. 

Shop Project JungleCHICk online {US Shipping will be available in the coming weeks} 

a fashion attitude for a better planet
— Project JungleCHICk