Ah, "tribal jewelry"–that catch-all American term for any accessory that looks distinctly foreign. I'm not a fan of the category (it's like "world music"–what, precisely, does that mean?), but for the benefit of SheFinds readers, I'm going to swallow my linguistic quarrel to show you some amazing South African jewelry that recently came to my attention.
A number of years ago, I went to a do-gooder college full of socially aware people who all talked all the time about saving the world. Then, when we graduated, most of us (sigh) abandoned our ethics, and went on to become regular working stiffs. But a small cohort of my fellow students actually made good: they founded a charity, Tanda, that works to support the country's millions of AIDS orphans. The group began selling handmade jewelry, designed and produced by local women.
Tanda Zulu's beaded wares are as eye-catching and well-made as they are unique. I guarantee none of your co-workers or friends wlil be wearing anything like it…until you do, and they ask you where it's from, and then they buy it. Socially conscious, gorgeous, and one-off–need I say more?
Earrings ($16) come in various colors combinations. The brightly-colored ones (like red, blue, and green) will bring exceptional vibrance to a simple, monochromatic outfit; the more subtle tones (brown, navy) are totally versatile.
And the best thing is that all the profits go to a good cause. Next time you're in the market for some unique pieces that will really make a statement–or if you just want to pretend that you went on a shopping spree in South Africa–check out Tanda Zulu.