Bilum & Bilas
Since arriving in Madang, Papua New Guinea in 2008, Jessica Cassell, Founder and Creative Director of Bilum & Bilas, has been passionate about bilums and the creativity, skill and knowledge that goes into the craft.
Knowing the international demand for sustainable, natural products like bilums, yet observing the daily struggles of female artisans to earn income to support their families, Jess started Bilum & Bilas in 2014 as online store focused on linking artisanal products to international buyers in an effort to generate better income for bilum weavers and artisans.
The intricate craftsmanship, traditional processing and labour that goes into creating a bilum is what makes them so unique, but it also means they are challenging to produce at a scale that provides the artisans with a stable and equitable income - to find a solution to this problem, the Bilum & Bilas accessory was born.
Bilum & Bilas' contemporary jewellery is inspired by the beauty and essence of the bilum, and retains the traditional weaving techniques and natural fibres, yet in micro form. This streamlined making process enables the small Bilum & Bilas team to optimise production and create stable jobs for Papua New Guinean women with these unique skills.