Bundu Designs is an online marketplace aiming to increase the awareness and consumption of ethical African artisan products in North America. It aims to showcase the pioneering design work coming out of Africa, passionately believing that lives can be changed by design. Founded in 2007 by social entrepreneurs Colleen and Cliff Thompson, who were tired of the stereotypes that present Africa as tragic or, at best, exotic, and decided to seek out the new, the inspired and the innovative Africa.
Rooted in the business ethos, Bundu Designs seeks only to work with projects that support community involvement, sustainable use of materials and smart applications of recycling. Supporting projects whose goals are geared towards financial independence, engendering a culture of respect and self-sufficiency. Bundu Designs has now partnered with over 25 community projects across Africa, and partnered with a number of NGOs and corporates to develop product ranges that appeal to an international market, and that translate into sustainable income and employment.
For their latest project, Bundu Designs worked with a collective of Zimbabwean wire artisans to design and produce 431 beaded rhino sculptures. The wire sculptures form part of an awareness campaign for Save the Rhino International, and their work in Zimbabwe to protect the 431 remaining black rhinos. The aim of the project is to sell one beaded sculpture for each remaining, critically endangered species of black rhino. Funds raised will go to support the teams on the ground in Zimbabwe, in their efforts to stop the poaching of rhinos for their horns.
“The opportunity to combine two exceptional projects was an obviously good fit for Bundu Designs,” says founder and CEO Colleen Thompson. “The 8” x 5” rhino sculpture has been created using a uniquely southern African craft using galvanized wire and glass beads. The horn is beaded in white, to highlight the reason the rhino’s are poached. Each wire sculpture contains a swing tag that is numbered from 1 - 431, making each sculpture limited and unique.”
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