The Making Process
At Shamva, we celebrate our environmental, social and community values. Through buying from Shamva you can be assured that the stone is processed to the strict standards of the Ethical trading Initiatives; it ensures no child labour, fair wages and safe working conditions are maintained. We do this by only collecting our stone from small mines that are owned by the local communities who live nearby. This ensures all funds go direct to the community and there is no big company or politician that can benefit. By giving straight to the community, it gives them a much-needed source of income and helps them diversify from relying solely upon the land. Socially responsible trade ensures a relationship is built with these communities meaning we can continually return to the mines for more stone and equally gives them an opportunity to earn an income. When necessary, safety equipment, tools and training is provided to teach the communities how to collect beautiful stone without using unsustainable techniques bad for the local environment.
Collecting the Stone
Shamva knows exactly where our stone comes from and each stone is handpicked by us for its beauty, hardness and size. This involves travelling sometimes for hundreds of kilometers until we have found the source. From there, we make contact with the local community and they help us mine the stone and take it back to our workshop. Meeting communities in far-flung areas off the beaten track is something we really value. The Zimbabwean people we meet are always friendly, well mannered and welcoming and we are blessed to have the opportunity to build lasting relationships with them.
Shamva commissions all pieces from a small team that is skilled using traditional craftsmanship techniques. This team, led by Tendai Gwaravaza, an incredibly talented artist and secretary of the biggest arts centre in Zimbabwe, ensures that our pieces are the best the country can provide. Tendai currently lives at our home with his wife and three children, they have become part of the Shamva family.