Knowledge gives us power and enlightenment. It moves us along as a civilisation, toward achieving positive change. This is a message we take from our Ancient Egyptian ancestors, who — by living in harmony with the environment and its resources — sustained and developed one of history’s longest known and most revered civilisations. This was a way of being that elevated the peoples’ lives.
Origins is our return to nature as a way of moving forward.
As we prepared to launch our latest collection in unprecedented times of change, it felt important to start by noting how current world circumstances prompted us to question the status-quo and helped us push forwards.
The ancient greek historian herodotus wrote in the 5th century BCE “Of all the nations of the world, Egyptians were the healthiest and happiest”.
We felt there was something valuable to be learnt here - Our ancestors lived in perfect harmony with their environment and in doing so they sustained a thriving civilisation. it was this notion of going back to basics which sparked our inspiration for this season.
Because as the world around us changes, so too must we, by educating ourselves and taking actionable steps toward being the change that we wish to see. And as we continue to learn, we will insist on shifting our paradigm to earth first. Welcome to ‘origins’ our collection that embodies the start of our journey as contemporary Egyptians working towards global sustainable development goals.
A great deal of care and collaboration went in to the making of origins. In line with our journey into sustainable development and ethical trade, we took the decision to scale things down by choosing to work only with independent artists, artisans, family-run workshops and small businesses. Only natural materials were used, from certified sustainable sustainable supplier complying by our ethical trade of conduct.
The collection comprises of six clutch styles, each made to order, sculpted from woods sourced from sustainably managed forest and meticulously gilded using fine Orono gold leaves.
The pieces are made using non-toxic manufacturing techniques from natural, sustainably sourced materials. And we specifically designed them to be produced in limited numbers due to the considerable amount of planning, coordination and highly skilled handwork which go in to the making of each piece. We are hoping that by taking these first steps, we will be contributing to a new, sustainable luxury that promotes craftsmanship and innovation while reducing the strain on our planet.
Wood is a low-impact, closed-loop material with interesting aesthetic qualities that continue to develop over time. The use of wood for luxury items has provenance also has provenance to our cultural roots, with an extensive archaeological record of beautifully executed wooden statues, vessels, and boxes used to store precious items.
Wood was also used for functional items such as trinket boxes, bows and axes which were carved out of Ash, a wood species we chose to use throughout the collection as an homage. It was also interesting to learn how the rarity of trees in ancient Egypt made wood extremely valuable, put in perspective, it is understood that the price of securing a wooden coffin in middle kingdom Egypt was equivalent to purchasing a luxury car today.
As we did research in to the historical context of wood in Egypt, we were lead to the ancient process of gold gilding and thought it would be fitting to give a tribute to this beautiful metal which was believed to be indestructible and of heavenly origin. The Egyptians appear to have been the oldest practitioners of this art and the illustrations on the tombs at Saqqara and Thebes show their goldbeaters working together with gold founders and goldsmiths.