Baka is a slow-designed, contemporary, sustainable, ethically-handcrafted jewelry brand by Rhizome—India's first multidisciplinary sustainability design studio. Rhizome was founded by Rebecca Reubens and works at the intersection of craft, design and sustainability.
At Baka, we look at ecological, cultural, social, and economic aspects of sustainability. We believe sustainability can be mainstreamed into fashion through good design, and that is exactly what we intend to deliver to you. Sustainability is a big word which is increasingly losing its meaning because it is used so casually. This is even more so when it is paired with fashion. We were asked recently what we mean by sustainable jewelry.
We had a LOT to say, but here are our top five points.
- We ensure our pieces are made from clean material. This means we use materials which are upcycled, repurposed, recyclable and renewable.Our material is ethically-sourced, it is as local as possible, and we source it at a fair rate from small vendors and not from big corporates. This ensures that the money we pay out goes to sending kids to school, and allows women to go to doctors — and not to lining the purses of already-wealthy conglomerates.
- Our pieces are handcrafted by traditional and contemporary craftspeople. We try and keep skills alive and use traditional methods in contemporary ways to keep tradition dynamic. If a non-traditional would-be craftsperson wants to learn handcrafting, we teach them in an apprentice-mode, since we are a learning studio. We aim to provide livelihoods. We therefore don't use machines as far as possible unless it is to aid the human hand. We anti-machine and not Luddites, but love the handmade and are more Arts and Craft peeps.
- We design classic pieces which are often whimsical and contemporary. We want our pieces to tug at your heart strings and become future heirlooms. We aim to create emotionally-durable design which stays around longer because you love it.
- We dont design as per mainstream trends or seasons. We want to shake the giant machine which controls the fashion world. We do love the idea of trends and do give a nod to past fashion, but we do it when we think it is appropriate—not because we believe we have to. We take as long as we need to develop something—we are as slow fashion as they come.
- We design for customization. We often create unique piececs just for you, because we want our wearers to love our pieces and don't want them to end up in a landfill anytime soon. So we customise and welcome collaborative fashion and collaborative design.
If you want to know more about why we do what we do, we would love to hear from you at moc.liamg@yrlewejakab. If you're in Ahmedabad, pop into the studio and we can chat about how we are passionate about sustainability. We hope we soon live in a world where the good guys don't need to prove they are sustainable, and the bad guys are labeled unsustainable instead...