Areas of Impact
While shopping you’ll see our products ‘stamped’ with icons that provide you a snapshot of the areas of impact for that particular product. We provide descriptions for each one here. Essential to our brand is transparency, if/when one of our products doesn’t meet all of our standards we’ll tell you how, why and what we’re doing to try and improve.
Every product we sell is handmade either by us in the U.S. or our artisan partners in East Africa. Certain raw materials (beads, fabric, chain) may or may not be handmade. When this is the case, we will let you know.
We serve as a channel for our artisan partners in Kenya and Uganda to access a larger market with the goal of building consistent and sustainable income. We work mainly with women because they, in turn, invest in their children’s education & nutrition. Whenever you see this symbol, know that we are all connected through our choices and yours is making a direct, positive impact. Note, we do not exclude men and work with some very talented individuals who specialize in metalwork and wood-carving.
Whenever and wherever possible, we work to lessen our environmental footprint by finding non-toxic alternatives to processing metal, using recycled materials and by generating as little waste as possible. We are by no means perfect and we will tell you when there is a greater impact than we would like.
This one is less direct and you will see it mainly with some of our Ugandan products. We partner with the U.S.-based nonprofit, Friends of Chimps and the Ugandan-based nonprofit, The Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Conservation Trust to develop positive relationships between people and wildlife in regions often impacted by human-wildlife conflict. Local support of conservation initiatives is the best chance we have for the long-term preservation of wildlife and their remaining habitats.
Why Focus on Women?
Study after study has shown that when women in developing countries are empowered they invest in their children’s health and education. As is turns out, education, and especially education of girls, is the single most powerful pathway out of poverty. Keep a girl in school and she marries later, has fewer children and can earn a more secure & stable income over the long-term. Yay girl power! Want to learn more? There are many organizations, websites and books dedicated to this topic so we’ll just provide a couple of our favorites:
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide By Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn.
The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World By Jacqueline Novogratz