{Around the World} 31 Bits: A Bit of Good News

Friday, November 16, 2012

So here's your first serving of good, green fun. Need a little cheer today? 31 Bits to the rescue. If you haven't heard of this recycled paper jewelry line, you're in for a treat. But first, clear your mind of those Holly Hobbie homemade-fashion thoughts. These handmade trinkets are modern, fresh + fun pieces which Kallie Dovel, 31 Bits founder, styles with a sophisticated eye to a t.

"Every product is made by someone. We can all start making a change just by choosing to purchase through socially proactive businesses."

When Kallie Dovel traveled to Africa in 2007, she saw need. She also saw a solution. And so a unique jewelry company was born, with the mission of using fashion and design to empower Ugandan women to rise above poverty. Lofty mission? Indeed. But this young lady had vision, drive, and a strong moral compass guiding her (plus, a lovely, cosmopolitan style sensibility), and today Kallie and her friends are changing lives one recycled bead at a time.  

The 31 Bits artisans hand craft each piece from bead to bauble, and while they are carefully constructing chic statement pieces, they are also cultivating necessary skills crucial to self-sufficiency. The Ugandan women partake in English lessons, health education and financial + vocational training. To date, 100 Ugandan women are working with the company - having grown from 6 artisan workers. Kallie has married the creative skills of the Ugandan women with her own business saavy and strong marketing skills to create a successful, socially responsible company, an enterprise that allows marginalized women to realize their full potential and find joy in work, friendship, and life. How's that for some good news?

Watch this video for a look at some of the 31 Bits artisans expressing themselves in one of my favorite ways: dance. Some of the best moves since Travolta: 31 Bits in Action

{photomontage by f+d} images via 31 bits

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