I love being able to support a brand like Afribeads. To me they epitomise everything that The Good Design Store stands for as they are creating unique products out of waste materials and at the same time they are changing the course of people's lives. Every box of Afribeads jewellery that arrives is like an massive explosion of colour and knowing that by selling it I am brightening up the lives of others is an incredible feeling.
AfriBeads’ story began in January 2009 when a group of 6 Australian families traveled to Kampala, Uganda to build a house for an orphanage. Life in Uganda is a struggle for many people. Economic problems, the AIDS epidemic, a civil war and drought have resulted in widespread poverty. Around 50% of the population are living on less than $1.25 a day with only 50% of children completing primary school. Families typically live in one-room houses, where the kitchen is a simple charcoal burner on the doorstep and the outside toilet is shared with other houses.
The Australian group wanted to further help the people of Uganda and having fallen in love with the local bead-work created Afribeads to bring their unique products to the World and to provide some much needed income. AfriBeads now partners with a group of women in Kampala known as the Kind Mother's Project and is a member of the Fair Trade Association (NZ and Australia).
The Kind Mother’s Project began in 2005. Mothers involved in the Project earn income from making handcrafts which they sell in the local markets in Kampala. This income allows them to provide for their families and send their children to school. Profits from Afribeads are used to further support this project and the community in Uganda and have assisted with building a medical clinic, further equipment such as sewing machines for the Project, and educational materials and games for the children.
AfriBeads bracelets, necklaces and earrings are a totally recycled product fashioned by hand from magazine pages. No two beads are the same. The beads are individually made from triangles of paper, which are rolled, glued, and varnished with an environmentally friendly sealant. The finished paper beads are then arranged between tiny glass beads and created into the unique, gorgeous, recycled jewellery. The beads are water resistant and durable in normal wear.
Its a great story and one that we can all be a part of simply by purchasing from this range.