Los Angeles–Dsenyo, an ethical fashion brand and fair trade accessories company, will launch a student-designed snare wire jewelry collection as part of its mission to end poaching in rural Zambia.
Last fall, the brand sponsored its first “Design for Change: Help Make Poaching History” competition inviting students from across the country to design and submit their own set of jewelry (earrings, necklace, and bracelet). Students were required to use imitation snare wire and other materials found native to the region such as feathers or semiprecious stones to compete for a coveted place in the brand’s Spring ‘15 line while supporting a charitable cause.
Photo Safari as Grand Prize
After receiving numerous submissions, Dsenyo’s panel of five judges deemed Hayley Stewart, 19 and her Zimba Twist Snare Wire design the winning entry. Stewart is currently working on a B.S. in Fashion Design at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and hopes to pursue a career in jewelry design.
“As I read more into it and realized just how big of a difference Dsenyo helps make in not only people’s lives around the world, but in these innocent animals lives…I knew I had to get involved,” says Stewart. The twisted wire design represents “uniting people all over the world to strengthen each other in the fight against poaching.” For her grand prize, Stewart will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Zambia to meet the artisans of Dsenyo partner group Mulberry Mongoose and learn first-hand about the poaching crisis and how local organizations are addressing those threats, including a photo safari to see the animals she will help save.
In addition, Stewart’s collection is currently in production and will be included in Dsenyo’s Spring collections made from actual confiscated snare wire to help to raise funds for further mapping of areas of high snare density, anti-poaching patrols, and removals of wire from ensnared animals. Each piece of jewelry sold will generate $5 for the two non-profit organizations who are leading the fight against poaching: the Zambian Carnivore Program and the South Luangwa Conservation Society in Zambia, Africa. The Zimba Twist Snare Wire collection ranges from of $38 to $58 retail and will be sold on dsenyo.com and select gift shops including Casita International (Seattle, WA), Clinton Museum Store (Little Rock, AR), Ten Thousand Villages Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), and MomentuM (Boulder, CO).
All remaining student entries, including Stewart’s original design, were sold in an on-line auction last December where 100% of funds raised were donated to the two leading non-profits. Both will work together to stop poaching and to mitigate the conflict between man and animals in the South Luangwa Valley.
To further the cause, Dsenyo plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign this March in an effort to expand its snare wire collection and continue to build awareness for the poaching crisis. The company hopes to raise at least $20,000 which will go towards funding production (materials and fair artisan wages) while increasing donations for key anti-poaching organizations. www.dsenyo.com