Necklace by 31 Bits
USA & UK

Droplet Necklace With Gold Chain – $42

This beautifully minimalist necklace features a 14 carat filled gold chain and a dainty bead made from 100% recycled paper, all handmade by women in Uganda. 31 Bits say that 99% of the materials that they use in their jewellery are sourced in Eastern Africa, supporting local markets. You can find out more about the ladies who make their jewellery on the 31 Bits website.

31 Bits' mission statement is “Using fashion and design to empower people to rise above poverty”; moved to try and provide sustainable economic development for the many women in Uganda who grew up in a war, displaced from their homes and struggling to find work to support themselves and their families, this US-based brand not only provides the craftswomen with jobs, but also provides a five year holistic program to help provide them with the means to support themselves in the long term.

Category:

Fairly Traded

Fairly TradedEach 31 Bits employee earns a consistent monthly income, enabling them to send their children to school, provide food and a home for their families, pay for healthcare when necessary, and save money for a future business endeavour. Their income is equivalent to that of a Ugandan high school teacher.

Handmade

HandmadeAll of 31 Bits’ products are made by hand by women in Uganda.

Gives Back

Gives Back31 Bits employees are part of a five-year program that includes health education, finance training, counselling, and business training. After five years the women ‘graduate’, leaving with an education, her own business, social equity, and a new-found confidence. 31 Bits now have 120 women in their program. They also provide micro loans so that workers can buy things like a bike, and they provide financial training so that they can learn to budget and use a bank account.

The ultimate goal of their program is to graduate each woman with a successful business of her own. This will allow her to maintain a sustainable income without depending on the Western market. It will also enable her to employ others from the community and help build the local economy. Their business classes provide education on developing a business plan, identifying skills and resources, and developing a marketing strategy. They bring their employees on field trips so they can learn from local business owners, and also provide frequent one-on-one time with a mentor for guidance and support as they develop their business and prepare for graduation.