31 Bits was created when Kallie Dovel traveled to Uganda and was inspired by the female artisans making beads from paper. The people of Northern Uganda have suffered through a war that’s displaced nearly 2 million people from their homes. Children are forced to be soldiers at young ages and women are enslaved and forced to be wives of men that abuse them.
The company has been around since 2006 and there are about 100 women who create the beautiful necklaces and bracelets. Not only do they provide these women with jobs, but they also don’t have any education. They have a 5-year program set up where the women receive an income, taught to manage their finances, and business training. Physical and mental wellness that educate them about STI’s prenatal care, HIV testing an treatment, domestic violence, and parenting.
The 5 women who started it work out of Costa Mesa and the artisans live in Uganda.
The beads are made from recycled paper. Anything from unused posters, advertisements, and textbooks. They roll strips of paper tightly and coated with water-based varnish. The varnish hardens and coats the beads and then strung or sewn as embellishments. 99% of the materials are sourced from in Eastern Africa in support of local markets.
Their mission is to use fashion and design to empower people to rise over poverty. Their model is to empower people through the fashion industry.
The war in Uganda has slowly tortured the people that live there for a long time. I think these women have created a great product and with their product comes awareness. They encourage people to seek more knowledge about what’s going on in the world.
Jewelry prices range from $12-$88.