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About Us

LOTUSLAND IMPORTS:

Vancouver owned. Founded in 2011 by Susan Bibbings. Fair Trade. Curated Luxury Ethical Designs.

Lotusland Imports is rooted in ethics. Every item is produced sustainably, acting as a vehicle for positive social and environmental change --  And the result is beautiful.

 

THE KILIMANJARO KOLLECTION:

An extraordinary conversation-starting jewellery collection. Fashionable, statement pieces designed under the mentorship of Francesca Torri Soldini at Italy's prestigious Istituto Europeo di Design. From there, Maasai artisan women meticulously handcraft the designs into breathtaking jewellery -- right in their own villages at the foothills of Kilimanjaro -- replacing deforestation with artisanship.Think high fashion fusion where Milan meets Maasai.

View complete Collection here 

 

THE OUT OF AFRICA COLLECTION:

Chic handbag and bag designs with a unique African feel. Exquisite artisan craftsmanship using supple, locally tanned cowhides, suedes and cowfurs in fashionable colours. Impressive attention to detail finished with imported fittings and beautifully designed cloth lining. Featuring locally sourced embellishments such as ostrich shell and "Angoni" cow horn. This cottage industry has revived leather craftsmanship in the area with training initiatives and fair trade employment, while salvaging cowhides that otherwise would have gone to waste.

 

THE TEMBO TEXTILES COLLECTION:

Unique hand-painted and silk-screened organic textiles from the heart of the African bush -- cushion covers and table linens. The designs are a mix of traditional African motifs and contemporary art. Local men and women paint the textiles in a rich palette of hand-mixed colours. In an area where employment is scarce, they take great pride in their craft. And it shows.


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 Want to learn our backstory?....

 

The idea for this jewellery project actually came as a creative and collaborative environmental solution to help stop deforestation in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, East Africa, while simultaneously addressing the poverty of the local Maasai tribe by using an innovative business solution. Until our jewellery project, the Maasai tribeswomen in this region generated income by cutting down trees and making and selling charcoal. This resulting deforestation was unsustainable and destructive to the balance of the ecosystem.

In 2006, through a chance meeting of two women in the small Kilimanjaro airport waiting room, a clever but very simple idea was born. Both women discussed how deeply troubled they were by the increasing rate of deforestation and desertification they were witnessing in the region, how bans had failed and were impossible to implement - yet these Maasai women needed a way to make money to support their families. As the women talked the answer became clear. By combining strengths - the design genius from Italy and the rich beading artisanship of the Maasai - a company could be created offering an alternative work solution. Now instead of logging for charcoal these highly talented women artisans are meticulously handcrafting pieces of wearable art using designs created by students at the Istituto Europea di Design in Milan, mentored by partner and Director Francesca Soldini.

The development of this alternative micro enterprise now protects the environment, preserves indigenous culture, at the same time creates a stable and sustainable income source for the women. Now that's a beautiful thing on many levels!

Join us. Every dollar we spend is a vote cast for the kind of world we want to create.

Own a piece of the movement towards fairness, it's a beautiful thing!

 

Maasai artisan women are able to work from home on their tribal lands, together with their children

 

Sales revenue from this unique collection has greatly improved life for this entire Maasai community as these artisans now have steady employment with great working conditions where they can work on their tribal land without separation from their children,  and are paid fair wages. This stable source of income means they not only gain independence, but with basic needs covered, such as food, medicine and education, they are able to create better lives for themselves, their families and community. Moreover, using this company as a vehicle to teach business and entrepreneurial skills, the Maasai women grow more confident to explore other areas of the company, from design to retail operations.

By helping to develop stable trade channels and access to world markets, Lotusland Imports proudly partners with this international fashion initiative, introducing this stunning high quality Collection to Canada, the US and beyond. 

 It is our hope that people who purchase and wear our beautiful jewellery not only love their pieces and derive great pleasure in wearing them, but also know that by participating in this global beauty collaboration they are allowing these women a well-deserved opportunity to join the world economy on equal footing and bring their exquisite work to market.