Earth Heir X MADE51

Earth Heir has officially launched the Earth Heir x MADE51 collection, a beautifully designed, refugee-made jewelry line. A true pioneer in the industry of impacting the livelihoods of refugee communities, Earth Heir is one of a handful of social enterprises worldwide to pilot an initiative that connects refugee artisans to the global market, done in partnership with the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency).
The collection features delicately hand-stitched embroidery panels set on 24 karat gold and.999 fine silver-plated bases. The collection is composed of dainty earrings, suitable for everyday wear; and larger statement earrings that are more bold in its use. These are also accompanied by other fine jewelry pieces, such as slim bangles, daring bold bangles, and charming necklaces to complete the collection. Earth Heir x MADE 51 collection comes with two exclusive patterns: the Nuusum and the Arabesque, to honor the refugee artisans the organization is working with. The Nuusum was inspired by the undulating mountains of Myanmar, in honor of the heritage of the Burmese Chin refugee women; while the Arabeqsue was inspired by the geometric motifs distinctive in Islamic Art and architecture. This better honors the heritage of the refugee women from Afghanistan,Palestine, Syria, and Iran.

It is a great privilege for Earth Heir to be part of UNHCR’s MADE51 initiative, giving artisans the visibility and respect they deserve so that they can regain their sense of self while sharing their cultural pride with the world
— Sasibai Kimis, Founder of Earth Heir

“Earth Heir was founded on the principles that heritage crafts must be valued for its rich legacy and that artisans and craftspeople should be fairly paid for their work. In many parts of the world, cultural legacies are lost when entire populations are displaced. As refugees, these individuals lack the means to keep their ethnic identity alive and are deprived of the dignity that comes with being able to support themselves,” said Sasibai Kimis, Founder of Earth Heir.

The idea behind MADE51, which stands for Market Access, Design and Empowerment, lies in its reference to the 1951 Refugee Convention; a key document outlining the obligation of ratifying states to safeguard the rights of the asylum seekers. In Malaysia alone, there are over 150,000 refugees registered with UNCHR. That leaves so many more refugees awaiting their registration — leaving Malaysia with an even larger group of refugees who are all unable to work due to their status as an unregistered refugee. With an average wait of 17 years before they are resettled, there is a pressing need for refugees to attain self-reliance over this time. The MADE51 initiative responds to this need by identifying and tapping into wealth artisan skill found in refugee communities and connecting refugee artisans to global markets. This way,
refugees have the opportunity to earn income, strengthen their resilience, and restore their sense of self-determination, while keeping disappearing cultural skills and tradition alive.Interested to view the collection? The full Earth Heir x MADE51 collection is now available at Earth Heir Studio and online at www.earthheir.com/collections/made51 (Psst! it’s got free global shipping!). The collection will also be available SOON at retail partners KitaKita and iSetan The Japan Store.

 Credit: Tasha Raj

Credit: Tasha Raj