During our trip in Kenya, we met Libosso from Tribearth in their local café and design studio in Diani Beach. We were able to talk to him about the approach of Tribearth which is a socially conscious jewelry business selling sustainable jewelry and empowering women and youth through their fair business concept. Let the interview begin!
1. Hi Libosso, great meeting you and thanks for your time. Could you explain to us the vision of Tribearth?
Libosso: Tribearth is a socially conscious jewelry business that creates a community of empowered women and youth who produce handmade products in a sustainable and ethical environment. Using a moralistic and economic approach, Tribearth creates a challenging voice against the detrimental impact of fast fashion and inequality faced by stigmatized women and youth.
We also had the vision to have a jewelry and a coffee shop at the same place where you can just enjoy your coffee when looking around the jewelry. So that was the reason to see it come to fruition.
2. Which materials are used for the jewelry that you sell in the Tribearth Café?
Libosso: It’s a green workshop, which is really amazing because it’s part of the ethos and the values that Tribearth stands for. Green economy and sustainability are very important in our work. Our gemstones are sourced directly from ethical mines run by women in Kenya. We embrace traceability and sustainability throughout our complete supply chain. There’s no third party involved because we want to keep the income in the community.
3. Who makes the jewelry?
Libosso: Tribearth in general works with vulnerable women and youth. So most of them experienced something that affected them in a negative way. At Tribearth, they go through training, where they learn to produce the jewelry and get the necessary skills to change things in their life.
4. What is the money generated out of this business used for?
Libosso: So it’s used mainly for the employees first, but of course, it goes back into the communities to support these people at home. Right, so there’s a vision to start an innovation center and to include a youth center. And as well as incorporating yoga into just holistic development and a space for healing for people.
5. What other activities do you offer around this place?
Libosso: It’s a nice place to come in and chill. You can come, enjoy nice coffee and read a book. You can learn more about healthy eating. There are many activities that are happening and we develop new ideas about what this place can do. So people have been speaking about yoga. Speaking about the time, places and equating bands around creating events. So that’s like the vision for the future. How can we make this space more lively for such events and things.
6. And how did you come here?
Libosso: So I came to Diani Beach in Kenya like a year and a half ago, and I was passing by and I saw this space and I just felt like a connection to this space. And then I walked in and talked to the owner and I just felt that we were on the same page and shared the same vision for a place like that. And they needed someone to help with content creation. So this was my background. So I started helping with social media and marketing for this space.
7. What do you like most about this place?
Libosso: I think for me, it has to be the community in the sense that you meet so many different people that come through the doors and different stories that live in parts of the world, but in essence, we find a connection. And so, it is so nice to engage with the client and find similarities in our beliefs and values. I would say, it’s the people and the connection. That’s always key for me.
8. Do you have a wish for the future of this place?
Libosso: Wow. That’s a good one. Well, I really wish that this place will continue to be a healing space for people who need to find peace. That, when people walk in, they find joy, find that connection to the staff and this way that this space may never lose that vibrancy.
9. Which role plays sustainability in this place in general?
Libosso: Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. Whether it’s in the kitchen, whether it’s outside with the building materials, and even about what’s left over.
Nothing gets thrown away because there’s always a way to devote or give food to people around us. Whatever we’re creating, especially like the seats outside, is made of local bamboo material and the good thing is you can always keep them in a sustainable way. And also if we come back to the ethical gemstones and the buying procedure, it’s amazing to know that it’s in a sustainable way and that the workshop gives skills to the people here and creates new opportunities.
10. How can people support you in that?
Libosso: I think the number one is to like us on social media, share us and spread the word about us. But also give us a review on TripAdvisor or Facebook. But it’s always super helpful to get connections to people that would like to support us and to find out how we can collaborate to support our vision.
11. Which role plays tourism in this area? What are the good parts and maybe the best parts of having something about this in mind?
Libosso: I think the big question would be just how much it gives back to the community. As a visitor, you may not have an idea of how much that you spend on a place goes into the region. The impact of tourism for local communities can be amazing. I saw a lot of places where it really made a change for local communities who were benefiting from tourism. But it’s not everywhere like this.
I think now we need to start thinking about impact tourism and how we can make it even more sustainable in communities. I think one of the lowest points about tourism is when you see it go down and you see the impact in that place. So, for example, during Covid, when everything was closed here you really saw how many people would rely on the jobs attached to tourism, such as food and housekeeping.
So it also comes back as a reflection for us. Now we should diversify income and also think about domestic tourism. How can we make it even more sustainable? How can we make sure that Kenyans are able to travel here? And even with Tribearth and the idea of the innovation space the thought of it was like, how can we create a space where people learn to create something that’s marketable and able to sell it even without tourism?
Thank you very much for showing around and explaining the innovative concept, Libosso. We wish you all the best for the future. And if you guys want to check out their online shop click here.
If you’re interested in impact accommodations for your next holiday trip, then check out this blog post about a sustainable and authentic eco-lodge in Ecuador.