We've told you a bit about the amazingly versatile and sustainable tagua nut before. Known as vegetable ivory, tagua is collected from the unsurprisingly named Ivory Nut Palm, which grows in the rainforests of South America. Crucially the nuts can only be collected once they are fully ripened and have fallen off the tree, otherwise they will not dry out to a sufficient quality for the artisans to use. During my recent time in Ecuador I saw a lot of tagua hand crafts: buttons, miniature sculptures and jewellery, but none had quite the flare of the Palma Collection. These jewellery pieces really exploit the potential of tagua to create dynamic shapes and vibrant colours. The Palma Collection uses tagua from Colombia, where a group of highly skilled artisans are working to keep the tagua carving tradition alive. Alvaro Toledo from the Palma Collection explains, "In the past some of these palm trees were cut down by peasants to grow different crops including cocaine. However, given the recent burst of creativity of Colombian artisans, the demand for tagua has increased immensely so as to incentivize their preservation."
TreeHugger friends Summer Rayne Oakes and Siel from Green LA Girl are already fans of the jewellery. They were both spotted wearing Palma Collection pieces out and about in the last few months. All the jewellery is available to buy online from the Palma wesite, where you can also watch a great video about how the jewellery is made. :: Palma Collection
The Palma Collection have very kindly offered TreeHugger readers a 10% online discount for any purchase made before September 22. The code for the discount is "treehugger" and can be entered during the check out process.