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loving: 31 bits

Ampersand Design Studio

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We were so happy to learn of this AMAZING company, 31 Bits. It was started by 5 college students after one of them traveled to Uganda. The concept of their company:

"31 Bits is a business using fashion and design to empower women to rise above poverty. We believe that business is one of the most powerful and sustainable approaches to turning scarcity into abundance, and eventually, alleviating poverty completely.
We are currently working with 63 women in Gulu, Uganda. We’ve combined successful development approaches with current design and fashion to create an innovative program for our women. We purchase jewelry from each woman on a monthly basis, providing them with an immediate, consistent, and fair income. Each piece of jewelry is handmade using 100% recycled paper and other local materials. By selling these products in the international market, we are able to generate a profit that is used to continue purchasing jewelry for our beneficiaries, as well provide them with numerous development programs, equipping them to develop a career and attain social equity on a local level. We are committed to working with each woman until she has graduated from our program and attained a sustainable means of income within her own community."

The program includes all aspects of the women's well-being: health and caring for the needs of the many women in the program who are living with AIDS (today is World AIDS day), English lessons and financial and vocational training and community groups so the women are constantly surrounded by support.

We are so happy to help spread the word about a company that is doing so many great things for women, for the world, for the environnment (with the use of sustainable materials) among other things. It is beyond inspiring. Be sure to watch the video to learn more about the program. It made my week when I watched it. AND, on top of being a wonderful cause, the jewelry itself is beautiful, creative, and reasonably priced, to boot. OK, we'll stop gushing now and let you get to shopping!