The Dassanech tribe of the Omo valley, Ethiopia are always impeccably adorned in traditional hand crafted jewellery. Recently, due to the issue of waste from westernisation, the tribe have put their artisanal skills to use, turning an environmental problem into an artistic outlet, in the form of bold, cultural accessories.
The unique jewellery is crafted out of discarded bottletops, broken digital wristwatches and old sim cards, recycled and ready to be worn as head dresses, earrings and necklaces.
“I like going to the market places where all the tribes come to trade, sell & buy.This is the best place to find beautiful things & meet people. Everyone wears the best clothes to show off their imagination.”
The waste comes from the bars that were built to attract the workers building a bridge across the Omo river. Soon enough stray bottle caps began to scatter the area, finding their way into the hands into a tribe of creative individuals, who’ve now managed to make a steady business from their imaginative recycling techniques.
“Everything that comes from the ‘modern’ world has potential as an accessory. It’s a way for them to keep up with progress in modern technology they don’t have access to – by turning it into fashion.”
These incredible designs pose the question is waste ever really waste? Clearly beauty can be born out of anything if you stretch your imagination far enough.