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Branch Jewellery

I founded Branch Jewellery back in 2004 (Honestly it amazes me that this is almost 20 years ago now) I am incredibly proud that over the years Branch Jewellery have become somewhat renowned for what we do.  For 18 years I have felt blessed to lead this amazing small brand. 

 

I have always loved to travel, always had a sense of adventure and spent most of my 20’s travelling the world, working where I could along the way.  During my travels I would collect stones, beads, and small trinkets that I would experiment with and make  into pieces of jewellery.  It started as a hobby really and grew from there.  I guess I knew for a long time that I would end up working in jewellery, but at the time I was young, and happy, travelling and being free. 

 

Whilst on my travels in Africa I commissioned some wood carvers in Malawi to carve some wooden bangles, which I fell in love with, and it was soon after this I realised that this was the direction I wanted to take with my passion for jewellery and that’s when I started to design my first collection.

It was after this initial stage of the business that I then decided to head off to Bali in Indonesia as I had heard their work with wood was incredible.  With the help of a very good friend who was living there I found two factories to manufacture and managed to put my first collection together.

 

After returning to London with my first collection I was then recognized by The British Fashion Council as a bright new talent, and they awarded me a sponsored space at London Fashion Week and really the rest is history.

 

Just like those early days Branch Jewellery is all hand-made in small workshops in rural villages across Asia. The Artisans that produce our Jewellery use traditional methods and we are very proud to support these local communities with income.  We, in fact, still work with the same two workshops in Bali we started out with 18 years ago, and I fondly regard them as my Balinese Family. 

 

From the very beginning my focus has always been on Fair Trade, Fair Wage, ethical production, and ethical materials, long before it became fashionable to do so.  I think having travelled to so many poorer countries and witnessed such huge disparities in wealth across the globe, I was passionate about bringing income and fair wages to these talented craftsmen and women.  I had met so many talented artisans on my travels and it was clear to me that these precious creative traditions needed to be protected.

 

Last year we teamed up with the leading climate activist group Ecologi. It’s so simple; every time an item is sold, we donate a percentage of each sale to Ecologi and they use these funds to plant a tree.

That’s one tree for every item purchased.

In just a very short time, we have enabled Ecologi to plant 10,000 trees and our forest is growing every day.

Each tree planted offsets approximately 30kg of carbon a year, which over the next 25 years is a whopping 750kg per tree. So, with our partnership with Ecologi we are thrilled to be able to maintain our carbon neutral commitment. 

For years we have been famed for our work with wood and mixing this with other complimentary materials, but a couple of seasons ago we introduced a new ethical horn collection. For a long time, I had been keen to introduce a new natural material, that could also inject some colour into the collections and horn was the obvious choice. The horn itself is a by-product to the farming industry in Vietnam and again these pieces are produced by small independent workshops using age-old traditional methods.   We ensure all production meets Fair Trade standards and are very proud of the low impact this by-product material has on the environment.

I have many, many favourite pieces in the collection but if I had to choose a few the first would be our Open Link Bracelet.  This stunning wooden bracelet has been in our collection for quite some time now and is among our best-sellers, season after season.  The design itself came to me in a dream whilst in Bali. I woke up and still had this vivid image clear in my head.  I quickly scribbled down a drawing and headed to our workshop that day to make the proto-type.  By the end of the day we had this lovely bracelet I had dreamt up. It is a wonderful piece and fits so perfectly on the wrist. I think anyone that has tried this piece on instantly falls in love with it.  To this day it’s the only design that has come to me in a dream.

I also love the Round Horn Ring and Small Oval Link Horn Earring.  The horn ring is again one of our best-selling items.  It’s quite chunky in size and definitely makes a statement but is so incredibly comfortable to wear.  I tend to wear a lot of dark colours, but I love the splash of colour this ring gives an outfit. I wear one of these rings most days.  I may be a tad bias, but I think the Small Oval Link Horn Earring is just about the perfect versatile earring.   It can make a statement even though it’s not too big and is so light-weight that it’s super comfortable to wear.  This earring looks great worn with a casual t-shirt for a relaxed daytime look or on a night out when you’re looking to be a little more dressed up.

There have been so many incredible highlights over the years and to this day I still get a buzz when great things happen.  From our pieces selling in some of the most prestigious stores around the world, being worn on catwalks across the globe, to Beyonce wearing our pieces for a recent shoot in Vogue Magazine.  I love what we do, and I can’t imagine ever finding a more fulfilling career. 

It’s amazing to think now when I consider how far the business has come, the stores we work with and the wonderful press we receive, and all, from such humble beginnings.

Written by Wendy, Branch Jewelllery Founder