From clothing and dining to cosmetics and homeware, consumers across the globe are asking where products are made and how they are sourced. Since their inception ten years ago, Nkuku have worked with artisans throughout the world, combining timeless design with traditional skills and natural materials. Exploring the artisanal world of Nkuku, The LuxPad discovers more about their ethical values and the skills behind the collection…
Ever passionate about handmade products, Nkuku are inspired by the traditional skills and techniques seen on their travels throughout Africa and Asia. It was these skills and techniques that motivated Nkuku to set up their business and work with artisans who share their talent, enthusiasm and patience with them to help create their collections.
Using practices and techniques traditionally used to make practical every day products, from ancestral potting techniques to the use of rustic leather stemmed from methods originally used to create saddles, Nkuku’s love for the handmade process and the way it makes you appreciate the details, the imperfections and uniqueness is shown across their entire range.
Ethically sourcing their materials and working with independent businesses and artisans across the world, Nkuku see their suppliers as partners and encourage open dialogue and communication. Whilst sourcing materials, Nkuku look to use suppliers at varying stages of their fair trade accreditation, providing artisans with an opportunity to build a future and develop their businesses.
Using recycled glass for their collections, the material is first collected as waste and then washed to remove any impurities. During the next step the glass is crushed and melted down before being handed over to skilled artisans who hand blow or place the glass in moulds to create a range of beautiful glassware and home accessories.
Nkuku source wood from mango trees that are initially grown for their fruit and only once they have stopped producing is the tree then cut down for the wood. This method allows farmers to plant more trees and provides them with a supplementary income. The wood is then used to create a range of striking home accessories, from trays and photo frames to chopping boards.
Bringing raw materials such as clay, terracotta and stoneware to life, skilled artisans shape each piece by hand and finish with hand painted details, ensuring a completely unique finish.
From the carpenters of Devon to the basket weavers in Vietnam, Nkuku are passionate about celebrating the personalities, experience and knowledge of the artisans they work with. Although it can be easy to overlook the handmade touches, the time and effort invested in an artisan product, Nkuku encourage the user to stop for a moment and truly appreciate the handcrafted nature of their products. From counting the number of drops on painted tableware to running a hand across the smooth organic shape of hand-blown glassware, the appreciation of the passion that has gone into creating each piece will sink in and you’ll find yourself unable to resist.