Artistry Meets Community: The Base Project

base_project1By Heather Harper I Borderline Press I March 15, 2016

One of the more innovative artistic businesses of our time, The Base Project, combines sustainability, fair trade, and into one simple idea: jewelry, specifically bracelets. The founders of the project, twin brothers Chris and Doug Akin, developed it as a way to help some of the local tribes of Namibia, in the Kuhene region, to earn money with their artisan skills. The two collaborating tribes from the first project are called Himba and Herero.

The Base Project collaborates with these tribes, who use upcycled plastic pipes to create bracelets. The pieces are cut down into a wearable size, then hand-carved by the local craftspeople. The jewelry is then sold through the Base Project website or via retailers like Urban Outfitters and Toms.

This business idea is unique and beneficial to the people of these remote on multiple levels. First, it provides work for people who live in a place where work is less available. Second, it is sustainable in nature because plastic which would otherwise be thrown away is being re-purposed into something that someone wants. Third, the owners of the Base Project use a portion of each sale to reinvest in community projects in the local area where the artisans reside. Finally, the Base Project is working on the development of a large farm in Namibia, a region of which has little access to fields or crops. The Base Project also offers a scholarship program for the children of the northwest Namibian desert, by working with the Ministry of Education of Namibia.

More Topics for this Series
Street Art as a “Self-Expression”
Timeline of a Visual Journey
Illustrious Illustrators
Know Your History! Cartoons and Comics

Heather1Heather Harper is AN Contributor and veteran writer. Most of her interests center in the non-fiction realm where she strives to use her “strength of the pen” to advocate on various social issues and causes. Learn more about Heather’s contributions to her writing craft.
*My twitter handle: @ExistentialMed

 

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