Nkuku produce beautifully handmade home and lifestyle products. Every one of their products has a story to tell through the talented artisans that created them.
Nkuku was founded in 2003 by Ali and Alex Cooke. The brand was inspired after the pair set off on a year-long round the world trip. Through their travels, Ali and Alex were inspired and humbled by the talented craftspeople and their beautiful work. Upon returning from travelling they moved from their busy London home to rural Devon to start their next adventure.
Completely inspired and amazed by their travels, they then started to work with artisans from around the world. Ali and Alex were passionate about supporting and celebrating these artisan skills through bringing their products to a wider audience and sharing their talents with the world.
They borrowed the name Nkuku from Zambia and the first products that Nkuku sold were their stylish journals which they still sell to this day!
Nkuku has an extremely strong set of values. Their core focus is transparency and see their suppliers as their partners. They have a hands-on approach and make regular visits to see their suppliers themselves. In addition, they also employ agents to assist with production queries and offer support and advice.
Nkuku adhere to standards that are globally recognised such as the 10 Principles of Fair Trade. Their passion for trading fairly provides artisans with an opportunity to build a better future. Nkuku help their suppliers’ businesses develop and therefore create sustainable employment.
Nkuku ensure that they work with only natural and recycled materials and have a true focus on the sustainable methods of production. They are consistently evaluating their processes such as their packaging and keep air freight to a minimum. Their products are created and made from recycled materials from waste provided by cotton from discarded t-shirts, leather, metals and glass as well as recycled saris. The process of recycling materials allows Nkuku to create new and beautiful products which have minimal impact on the environment.
Nkuku choose to only work with natural, recycled and reclaimed materials through sustainable production. The wide range of eco-friendly materials that they use include:
• Cotton Paper
• Recycled Glass
• Natural Stone
• Mango Wood
• Recycled Metal
• Hand-etched metal
Nkuku are also dedicated to showcasing the personalities of the artisans that they work with. They have travelled from Devon to Asia and have now interviewed over one hundred of the artisans behind their collections and discovered more about their personalities, aspirations and talents.