Mulberry Mongoose is a Zambian business that creates handcrafted accessories that capture elements of the African bush and way of life whilst investing in the conservation of the South Luangwa. Their handcrafted pieces are sold worldwide.
The name Mulberry Mongoose is partly inspired by the banded mongoose, an animal often seen in large family groups ‘talking’ incessantly to one another. The social cohesiveness of these mongooses reflects the level of social care the business is striving towards. Mulberry is a distinctive English fruit as well as a colour, and a reminder to Kate, the company’s designer, of her roots and her love of fashion. Mulberry Mongoose will always aspire to create designer accessories that people love to wear, but each piece will also embody positive, conscientious change.
From working with local carpenters who create hand carved wooden beads and seeds, to supplementing local farmers’ income by buying guinea fowl feathers and ordering countless chitenge gift bags from local tailor Esnart Phiri, Mulberry Mongoose aims to give back through generating local business. They also pride themselves on hiring local artisans, particularly women, and investing in staff training and development; the aim is for the artisans’ skills to grow with the business.
The impact of Mulberry Mongoose’s ambitions can already be felt; their much-celebrated Snare Wire Jewellery Collection has so far raised $50,000, in just over three years, to help fund critical anti-snare patrols in the South Luangwa Valley. U.S. President Bill Clinton, Richard Branson, Sting and Leo DiCaprio have all sported a Mulberry Mongoose snare bracelet.
Mulberry Mongoose uses snare wire collected in by the South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) who collaborate closely with the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP). SLCS organizes strategic anti-snare patrols to collect the illegal and lethal snare wire set around the South Luangwa National Park and surrounding buffer zones. Poachers lay snares to trap bush meat but the wire is an indiscriminate killer of iconic wildlife including elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard and the endangered wild dog.
Mulberry Mongoose then transforms the wire from something brutal into something beautiful. With the sale of each piece of jewellery money is donated back to funding more patrols; the same instrument set down to destroy wildlife is transformed into a tool to ensure their future.
Mulberry Mongoose has worldwide stockists and sells their jewellery online.