By Kim Groff

The Lokai bracelet is a new trend spreading across the KU campus, with more and more students sporting the gender-Captureneutral beaded bracelet that symbolizes balance in one’s life.

Each bracelet is infused with elements from the highest and lowest points on Earth. The bracelet’s white bead carries water from Mount Everest, and its black bead contains mud from the Dead Sea. They are on opposite ends of the bracelet with clear beads in between.

These extreme elements in the white and black beads are a reminder to the wearer to live a balanced life. It is a reminder to stay humble during life’s peaks and hopeful during its lows. The clear beads remain empty to represent clarity and to show that we all have our own story to tell.

“To me the bracelet gives me a sense of balance. Some may think it’s just a load of crap but it’s more of a symbol than an accessory. It just happens to be stylish too,” said sophomore Lauren Szkolnicki.

The Kutztown Bookstore began selling these bracelets last year. However, it did not become a popular trend until recently, said bookstore employee Kelsey Kromer. “I saw them in the store around November,” Kromer said. “It wasn’t until this semester they became known to campus. We sell over ten bracelets a week and currently we are sold out.”

It is unknown whether the bookstore will continue to sell them in the fall, as officials said they are waiting to see if the popularity keeps up throughout the summer.

The Lokai bracelet has its own website, too. If bought online, it costs $18 and the company donates 10 percent of its net profits to charity.

A man named Steven Izen created the bracelet after he learned his grandfather had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 2disease. Through his experience of joy and sadness together, it sparked the idea of the Lokai. He believes life is a circular flow and it is important to remain balanced through your highest and lowest points.

The bracelet is a stretchable band and made from 100 percent eco-friendly silicone, which makes it more comfortable to wear. The name Lokai comes from the Hawaiian word Lokahi, meaning unity and to blend opposites.

Though some buy the bracelets for the spirituality behind them, others purchase them for the look.

“I really just got one because all of my friends did, to be honest, but it’s actually a pretty cool bracelet,” said Matt McClay, a junior. “I’m glad I got one.”

Just recently there was a one-time-only special online for the Lokai bracelet with blue beads instead of clear. Although the sale is over now, it has sparked the interest of more customers to act fast and keep up on the Lokai on the regular.

“This bracelet has been a spreading style for a while now that seems to be continuously growing,” said sophomore Zandria Zalinkski. “I have a blue one and a clear one as well. I influenced my friends to get one for themselves, but I know they are disappointed they missed out on the blue bracelet.”

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