What does Protsaah mean?
The logo’s drop represent sweat, tears and blood. And is surrounded by a hand that represents the handmade process and the hand transforms into a dove that represents peace.
Where are the products produced?
Our main goal is to provide sustainable living to artisans in conflict zones. Currently our products are produced in the following locations:
Jewelry: close to Lhasa, Tibet.
Tibetan women do not have the right to work independently in Tibet. The options available to them are Prostitution, labourer on building sites or as house-help in Chinese homes. The Project was set up in 2015, when the founder (Saloni) was suggested by a dear Tibetan friend to start an employment project in Tibet. Women work in their homes having all necessary tools to hand craft the unique jewelry pieces. And this gives them the opportunity to take care of themselves and their family.
Cashmere Stoles/Scarves: Kashmir, India.
The weaving is done solely by men, as they need to be seated for 3 hours at a stretch to weave consistently. Women rarely are able to do so, given home chores, kids and family commitments. The women perform spinning the hair into the thread and also embroidery. Today we have a total of 17 people working in our project in Kashmir. They continue to weave irrespective of sales, some are given salaries and others are paid 50% in advance to buy the yarn from us and the rest within 2 months of delivery. They do not run the risk of not getting paid for their work.
Baskets: Kodukoru Cooperative, Rwanda.
This project is done in collaboration with All Across Africa, which manages our production at the Kodukoru Cooperative. The cooperative has 64 women weaving our baskets for us. We give our designs and colour preferences to All Across Africa and they manage the production and logistics for a fee. The Kodukoru cooperative is a listed member of the Rwanda Cooperative Agency which fair trade certified.
Necessaires & throw pillows: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
We do this project in collaboration with Africa Tiss, owner of brand Tissetik, leads the Design for Peace project supported by UNHCR. The project provides income to local artisans and Malian artisans living as refugees in Burkina Faso. UNHCR provides 200 refugee artisans an opportunity to learn, design, share and experiment with techniques to develop a collection, inspired by their world and stories.
What is the material of my product and where does it come from?
92.5% Pure silver and 6.5% copper, commonly called STERLING SILVER. The stones that are put into the silver frames are all semi-precious natural stones. We also have pieces in 22k real gold and rose gold plating. All of our jewellery pieces are anti-allergic.
We source conflict free silver from China & Gold from India. Stones are all sourced from Jaipur in India, the world’s largest marketplace for conflict free natural gemstones. And the stones are hand-cut and faceted in Jaipur.
Interesting fact about using silver: The women in the project are not professionally trained jewellery makers so using silver gives them to flexibility to make mistakes, re-melt the silver and remake the design. We need to mix silver with other metals to reduce its softness so that it can stay in a certain shape. We mix silver with copper as it does not cause allergies to people as might be the case with Nickel or Zinc.
Pashmina is the highest quality of Cashmere, which comes from a Goat in Ladakh, Himalayas. WE DO NOT MIX WOOL OR SILK in our pieces.
The cashmere from Ladakh is the original and it still collected by the nomads from free-range goats. The hair length is 3 to 5 times longer than from goats in Mongolia (used for mass cashmere production), and the hair is finer due to lower temperatures in Ladakh versus Mongolia. Today we see cashmere being sold everywhere, almost all of it comes Mongolia, the goats there are shaved every 3 months versus once a year combing (not shaving) in Ladakh.
Our hair is 21 micron thick, cashmere is everything under 19 microns, Pashmina from LADAKH is all under 15 microns. It's hair not wool. It is the softest hair/Fibre in the world and it has warming properties. One can wear pashmina in temperatures of –18 degrees to 21 degrees (autumn throughout spring).
The baskets are 100% natural. Made with Sisal and sweat-grass in Rwanda.
Necessaires & throw pillows
The entirely hand-made and small-scale production of locally grown organic cotton reflects our commitment to natural and ecological materials, to respect the environment and people. The bags and pillows are either yarn-dyed and then woven or else woven in the Dari (Carpet weaving technique) and thereafter hand screen printed.
How to take care of my unique handcrafted piece?
In case the gold-plating wears off after continued use you can contact us. We gold plate the jewellery at a nominal additional cost, as per weight of the jewellery. Usually 5-10 francs. It however takes 8-10 weeks.
You don’t really need to wash it till there is a mark or it's really dirty. You can just air it out on the balcony. If dirty spot wash by hand with hair shampoo – NO DRY-CLEANING.
The baskets can be cleaned with the wet wipe but please do not soak it in water.
Necessaires & throw pillows
You can wash these products in cold water in the washing machine.