Earth. Oceans. Forests. People. Love. We are a tribe of caring. A tribe of hope. Beauty. Dreams. Freedom. Growth. Conscious living and sharing. We are the generation, to heal the world. We are all originals. But we are all – one. Each piece of Taj jewelry is a talisman, an amulet, a reminder of what this tribe stands for. It’s dreaming, and doing. It’s following your heart, dancing to the beat of your own drum, being true to yourself. It’s about being courageous, standing up for what you believe in. It’s living out of love and hope – never fear. And it’s about living in harmony. With all souls, and earth. Bold, authentic and refined Dutch design. Traditional Indonesian craftsmanship. Every Taj piece is handmade fairly and out of recycled silver and gold. Every piece… tells a piece of the story of this tribe. Every piece is a statement. By wearing Taj, you become a part of our tribe. You become a voice, in the voice that needs to be heard. You pledge to love yourself, others and nature – unconditionally. What you wear, is what you vote for. So wear fair. Buy ethical. Choose green. Do quality – not quantity. The world is in a fast pace. Let’s go slow. Let’s choose patience. We are one. We are earth. And earth is us. Breathe –
Taj (pronounced Tash) is Sanskrit for jewel and short for 'Trouw aan jezelf' in Dutch, which means 'True to yourself'. Therefore our jewelry is more than just jewelry. Each of our pieces has a soul; each piece is a talisman, a statement and a reminder about what our tribe stands for. We stand for unconditional love and kindness towards our own souls. We stand for dreaming and acting upon those dreams, for following our hearts, being brave and standing up for what we believe in. We seek to live our lives out of hope and love, rather than fear. We strive to live in harmony with ourselves, others and the earth.
With our jewelry, we hope to remind you about the life you want to lead. The life that fits with what you want; the life you see when you choose to look deep inside yourself and ignore external things like other people’s opinions, expectations and fears. We hope to remind you about your deepest feelings and promises to yourself, the ones that match the life you want to lead and that represent your dreams and beliefs. With our jewelry as a visible reminder, we hope to inspire you to keep those promises to yourself so you can become your purest, happiest and most beautiful self.
Our pieces are a bold brew of Dutch design and traditional Balinese craftsmanship. Most of our rings and cuffs are gender neutral, meaning that they are meant for both women and men to wear.
All Taj jewelry is handcrafted under fair circumstances in our workshop in Bali. FAIR means that we pay our artisans a fair wage and make sure they work under safe circumstances within fair and healthy working-day hours. Also, we make sure no children participate in the production process.
'Handmade' means that no piece of jewelry is exactly alike. We don't do mass production and at our charming workshop you won't find hundreds of pieces of jewelry that look exactly the same. Every Taj piece is a little more authentic and unique than that. Sometimes a detail may not be placed in the exact same angle as her sister's is, sometimes a little bubble may have arisen in the silver that is now visible as a tiny dark spot. We have chosen to do absolutely nothing about these 'flaws', cause flawsome, is awesome. True craftsmanship, true art with charming flaws. We love it. And hope you will, too.
Most mining of silver and gold worldwide is done in developing countries. 90 percent (about 25 million people) of gold miners for example, live in poor and remote territories and work by hand. When extracting silver and gold, human rights are hardly ever respected, fundamental employment rights are violated and child labour, forced labour and discrimination are daily atrocities. In addition, the miners do heavy, unhealthy and often unsafe work and the risks of exploitation and severe pollution of the living environment are relatively big. We choose to only make our jewelry out of recycled silver that is processed in Bali, without the use of toxic chemicals that leak in to the ground.
Our silver comes from (i.a.) old jewelry, silverware (like forks, knives, spoons, bowls, plates) and candelabrums collected on the Indonesian islands of Bali, Sulawesi, Java and Kalimantan. Each piece of jewelry has had a life before, and therefore it has a beautiful little part of historic value.
Most people are familiar with blood diamonds, but what about gemstones? Unfortunately not only diamonds, silver and gold are mined under abominable conditions, but gemstones too.
No matter how beautiful real gemstones are, a piece of jewelry is a lot more beautiful to us if it’s made fairly – from its raw materials to its forging. Because fair and environmentally friendly gemstones do exist, but are way and way more expensive than ‘regular gemstones’, we have chosen to use solely synthetic gemstones in our jewelry.
Synthetic gemstones are made in a laboratory and have pretty much the exact same chemical and physical characteristics as real gemstones. Optically you can’t tell them apart from real gemstones and even experts often can’t tell the difference.
A man-made stone – admittedly – sounds less romantic than a stone that has been buried deep within the earth for centuries and then ended up in your piece of jewelry. But because synthetical gemstones aren’t a burden for the earth and her people, we feel that these stones – and the story behind them – are a thousand times more beautiful than ‘the real deal’. So, may this paradox bring the romantic balance: as true lovers of nature, we consciously choose unnatural here.
Our production process is inspired by a belief that we can capture in this quote: “We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
We love nature. We love the forests, the mountains, the oceans, the deserts and the animals. And we love people, harmony and love. We refer to these as our 3 P’s: People & Planet & Peace – and because of this love and urge to help protect these P's, Taj aims to keep her carbon footprint to a minimum, not only by using recycled silver, but in every possible way.
All pieces of jewelry come either in a handmade ata grass box that is biodegradable, or in a handmade batik pouch that is made by a sister company in textile that produces fair in Java.
We solely use recycled paper (for gift cards, product stories, etcetera) and organic cotton. Oh and it goes without saying that during munchies, we only enjoy fair trade, rainforest friendly chocolate, local goodies and fair trade coffee and tea. Yum.
We call it 'tree-hugger-glamour', and we wouldn't have it any other way.
To demonstrate how important gender equality is, not only for women and girls, but for worlds every inhabitant and for the earth, we’d like to start of this paragraph with a quote:
“Linking gender equality with sustainable development is important for several reasons. It is a moral and ethical imperative. Efforts to achieve a just and sustainable future cannot ignore the rights, dignity and capabilities of half the world’s population. To be effective, policy actions for sustainability must redress the disproportionate impact on women and girls of economic, social and environmental shocks and stresses. Finally, women’s knowledge, agency and collective action has huge potential to improve resource productivity, enhance ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, and to create more sustainable, low-carbon food, energy, water and health systems. Failure to capitalize on this would be a missed opportunity. Women should not be viewed as victims, but as central actors in moving towards sustainability.”
- UN Women -
In Indonesia it is often hard for women to work outside the confines of home because of their responsibilities as mothers and their religious responsibilities of bringing small offerings to the family shrine multiple times a day. Imagine how difficult this makes the lives of single mothers particularly. Because our artisans work in workshops attached to their homes, Taj offers women the opportunity to work and provide for themselves as well. This way they can work, take care of the children and comply to their religious responsibilities that are so important in Hindu culture.
We don’t only highly value gender equality, we aim to contribute to it actively. At this moment several men work for Taj, too, and they’re great. However, we actively aim to employ as many underprivileged women as we can. Right now, mainly underprivileged married women work for Taj. We will however put our efforts into employing as many single women as we can. But because these women often live in the streets of Indonesian towns after having been rejected by their families after rape or divorce – and these women need shelter, food, guidance and a safe place of employment – it will take more funding to be able to realize this goal for it will require help from embassy’s, local NGO’s and experts.
Because we consider ourselves to be conscious world citizens and believe that everything is better when shared, Taj donates part of the revenue to charity. If you want to read more about our projects, please continue reading under Taj & Charity.
Taj Amsterdam: unite people and earth.