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Recycled Paper Becomes Beads of Hope

Ugandan women handcrafting beautiful fair trade jewelry from recycled magazines.

How do old magazines and calendars end up lifting Kenyan and Ugandan women out of poverty?  By being transformed into trendy and colorful Fair Trade Designs beaded jewelry.

The women cut long, triangle-shaped strips from the paper and roll them up tightly, then apply a non-toxic sealant.

When the beads are dry, the women string them into beautiful jewelry, each piece unique to the individual artisan who created it.

Both Kenya and Uganda have suffered through devastating droughts.  Farm lands and pastures dried up as did the income earned from the land.  To make up for the lost income, many of the women crushed rocks by hand, barely eking out a living.

“Madaala” necklaces made from recycled magazines.

Now, these women earn five to seven times more as fair trade employees.  Instead of sitting on rock piles, they work in the comfort of their homes, homes they bought themselves with their income.  They can rest at night, knowing there will be food on the table the next morning for their children.

Bangle bracelets made from recycled paper.

Reducing waste, reducing poverty, raising hopes and dreams—all rolled up into beautiful beads. Wear this striking Fair Trade Designs jewelry knowing you’ve helped lift a woman out of poverty.


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