Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Papillon Belle

Yet another delicious find from this year's Design Indaba Expo...

I was fortunate enough to spend a bit of time chatting to Cape Town based illustrator and graphic designer, Audrey Botha, about her gorgeous range of butterfly jewellery:

When she inherited two antique brooches,dating back to the Victorian era, made with real butterfly wings from her Grandmother, it sparked the idea for a new range of jewellery. 

The idea was to create a range of timeless, classic pieces that could become family heirlooms at a time when disposable consumables seem to dominate our world.

The average butterfly only lives between 1 day and 4 weeks, so this is a way to immortalise these beautiful creatures in pendants that can be handed down from generation to generation. 
The wings are magically iridescent and constantly change colour as they interact with light. Both the front and back of the wing are visible and these are usually completely different.

The butterflies used in the jewellery are sourced from an organisation that manages sustainable farming projects all over the world. The organisation currently supports 125 people in 23 different countries.

Agricultural development has caused the natural habitat of a lot of butterfly species to become threatened, and their populations started dwindling.
Farming programs were therefore started to enable farmers from third world countries to keep the rain forests on their land intact, while still providing a livelihood that paid better than mono-cultural crops.
The breeding program enables thousands of butterflies to be bred. A portion of the butterflies are caught and sold, and the money generated from the sales ensures that the tropical forests, which are vital to their survival, are preserved. 
So, by purchasing this jewellery, you are not only doing your bit for the environment, you are also providing employment for the families in third world countries who breed and raise these delicate creatures.

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