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.
TAJ SUSTAINABILITY: OUR RECYCLED SILVER
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.
PEOPLE & PLANET & PEACE
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.