Sustainable and Ethically Sourced Materials
Have you Heard of Vegetable Ivory or Tagua Nut?
The colourful and unique designs of Pretty Pink Eco-Jewellery come from a material that is neither a vegetable nor ivory, but you wouldn't know it by its name. Vegetable Ivory, or Tagua, is the dried seed from a large, fruited palm tree that is native to Brazil and the tropical rainforests of South America.
It can take forty years for these trees to produce their fruit, making the seeds inside them all the more precious. Each fruit contains between four and nine seeds ranging from the size of an olive to an avocado. The seed's cavity contains a refreshing liquid that, if harvested within six months, turns to a sweet, edible liquid. If left, however, this jelly turns into a hard, white substance similar to that of elephant tusks or animal teeth.
Precious as these seeds are, at Pretty Pink Eco-Jewellery, our ecosystem comes first. That's why the first crop of fruit is left for the "curicas", the birds of the Amazon rainforest. Only after two years is the fruit collected by hand from the forest floor.
Once collected, the seeds are removed from their husks and left to dry in the sun for about three months. Only then is Vegetable Ivory hard enough to be carved, sliced and drilled - much like real ivory - and capable of holding the colourful dyes that make our jewellery so unique. Unlike real ivory, however, Vegetable Ivory is a renewable resource that does not harm our animals or our planet when harvested.
How Vegetable Ivory Saves the Rainforest from Palm Oil Developers
At Pretty Pink Eco-Jewellery, we believe in taking care of our planet and our people. Recent research from Brazil found that the cultivation and harvesting of Vegetable Ivory within the Greater Amazonia region prevents loggers from chopping down trees to plant soya for biofuels - and keeps some 35,000 people gainfully employed.
In addition to Vegetable Ivory, we also source Açai seeds. Everything is used from the Açai trees - from its leaves, which are also where we find seeds that are used to make some of our pieces. Much like Vegetable Ivory, these seeds are sourced in a way that is good for our planet and good for our people.
Meet the Makers
Meet the Team Behind Pretty Pink Eco-Jewellery
Pretty Pink Eco-Jewellery was founded in 2005 by fashion enthusiast and Jewellery designer Ilana Ewing, who had the brilliant and compelling idea of bringing new designs and materials from the Amazon Rainforest, 60% of which is located in her native Brazil, to the ever-changing and developing fashion scene of Edinburgh, Scotland. Ilana's beautiful blends of raw and natural materials, vibrant colours, and encaptivating textures are created with respect, conscientiousness, responsibility, and heart. In 2018, Ilana partnered with fellow Edinburgh resident and Brazil native Amália Wragg to create stunning, vividly coloured, and pleasant pieces that allowed the two to showcase the wonder of their country of origin to the European market which was waiting for something new and unique to come along. Together, Ilana and Amália design and create classy jewellery using organic, natural, and ethically sourced materials from the Amazon rainforest of South America. Their pieces keep their charm without sacrificing sustainability.
At Pretty Pink Eco-Jewellery, we recognise the importance of taking care of our planet and the people who call it home. Many of our ethically sourced materials found in our eco-jewellery which we bring to Scotland come from a renewable and sustainable material known as Tagua, or Vegetable Ivory, the harvesting of which creates tens of thousands of jobs for South American residents who reside in the regions of Tropical Rainforest where the specific palm tree species that grow the material are found.
From the skilled hands of workers at small cooperatives in South America who polish the Tagua, drill holes and dye our precious materials, each of our eco-jewellery pieces is then affectionately and delicately handmade in Scotland by Ilana and Amália.
Amália loves adventure and she brought her adventurous spirit to Pretty Pink since joining the partnership in 2018. When Amália is not working at her computer you can find her swimming in the Scottish sea or paddleboarding , she has a weakness for chocolate and she also has a cockapoo called Lilly.
Illustration by Ilana Ewing
Our Response to COVID-19: Now and Moving Forward
We at Pretty Pink believe in taking care of our planet and taking care of our people and you, our customers, make both these goals possible. Every purchase supports the ethical production of natural products from the Amazon rainforest, and the creation of jobs for entire families. Thank you.
Our Jewellery Brings Much-Needed Income to Communities in South America
We are pleased to announce that your support will now go even further. As the world faces off with the COVID-19 pandemic and its many social, emotional and economic impacts, it has become more important than ever to take care of our community — not only here at home, but throughout our supply chain. For this reason, we have decided to donate 10% of all profits, both during this pandemic and moving forward, to the employees who work for our suppliers in South America.
Meet the People who Harvest and Prepare the Vegetable Ivory
These are the workers who prepare the seeds used to make our beautiful jewellery. They polish them, dye them and drill the holes. Many of them are single mothers. And now, like so many people around the world, they cannot leave their homes and it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide for their families.
Thank you for supporting our movement for ethical, sustainable jewellery. Together, we can take care of our planet — and our people.
Our Team's Recent Visit to a Colombian Rainforest
We are so Pleased to Win for two Consecutive Years the Scottish Prestige Award for Handmade Jewellery Specialist of the Year.