Mbale Brass Studs
We have partnered with social enterprise YEWO, to bring you beautiful, responsibly made jewellery from northern Malawi.
'Mbale' means 'Plate' in Tumbuka, the language of Northern Malawi. These refined and minimalistic studs are perfect to complete your look, and there is a matching Mbale necklace available too.
Each unique piece is made by hand solar-powered workshop in Malawi. No two pieces are identical— slight variations should be embraced.
Materials: Satin brass, sterling silver posts
Every YEWO order comes with a jewelry care card, hand sewn linen bag, and a polish pad to help maintain your item. Please read the care tab for more information on cleaning and storing your jewellery.
BR A S S
Brass is a metal alloy comprised of copper and zinc. Known for its durability, brass has been used for centuries in Africa and is a sustainable alternative to gold. Today almost 90% of all brass in the world is recycled.
It is the nature of brass to evolve and tarnish over time. Some love this antiqued, darker look, while others prefer to keep their jewelry bright and shiny. Humidity, products on your skin, and your bodies natural chemistry are some of the things that speed up this process.
To avoid oxidation, remove jewelry before showering, working out, or using sprays of any kind. When not wearing your jewelry we recommend storing in a sealed bag in a dry area away from sunlight and heat.
Clean unwanted tarnish and darker spots using the pro polish pad provided. Simply buff with the pad until the tarnish is lifted and the piece becomes shiny again. If pieces become heavily tarnished, we recommend using ‘Brasso’ - an affordable cleaning product found at most hardware shops and is excellent for removing stubborn marks and tarnish.
T E A K
Malawi is known for their incredibly talented wood carvers-- from dug out canoes to decorative wooden masks, this skillset is found across the country. We wanted to embrace this art form by incorporating wood elements in our designs.
The wood components are all hand-carved from teak off-cuts purchased directly from the Forestry Department and provide a living, fair-paid wage to the four independent carvers.
Similar to skin, wood can dry out over time. We recommend rehydrating your teak pieces by applying a small amount of coconut or olive oil and then buff it dry.
The YEWO workshop is based in a mountainous rural village in Malawi where roughly 95% of the community are either unemployed (depending solely on subsistence farming— growing enough food annually for their family) or working in the informal economic sector (i.e. selling goods in the marketplace or one-off jobs— usually paid well below minimum wage). Almost all of the team had previously never held a job in the formal economic sector, had access to reliable income, or knew a single thing about making jewelry before starting work at YEWO.
Employees benefit from living wages, nutritious meals, paid leave, as well as training and healthcare support.