Fair Trade in Focus: 6 Lifestyle Companies Creating Positive Change In Uganda
A Look At Modern Day Uganda
Uganda. Located in East Africa, with its capital city of Kampala. It is landlocked and debatably home, at Lake Victoria, to the source of the Nile, which is one of the few rivers in the world flowing from south to north. It’s home to some of the most outstanding wildlife in the world ranging from Mountain Gorillas in the higher elevations to Lions and African Elephants in the savannah.
To know Uganda today it important to take into consideration its history. Uganda gained independence from Britain in 1962 and that influence can still be seen. Uganda has had political turmoil throughout the late twentieth century, repercussions of which still affect the economy today.
6 Local Companies Improving The Economy In Uganda
In order to help support Uganda’s economy, these inspiring companies have set up bases throughout the country. Historically, the tradition has been for men to be the breadwinners, which is not unique to Uganda, but now organizations are creating jobs for women to be able to support themselves and their families. By employing these local artisans, largely women, they are able to help break poverty cycles and give them sustainable fair wages.
While each company has their own individual focus, the overarching goal is to be able to stimulate the economy and provide buildable fair careers for the women of Uganda. The founders of these companies fell in love with Uganda and its people, as have we from reading their inspiring stories and hope you do too.
1. Rose & Fitzgerald
Product Range | Home goods and fashion accessories
Why Uganda? | Husband and wife team, Lauren and Courtney Poole, brought together their California cool style with their love for the craftsmanship and people of Uganda to bring artisan made goods to the world. They continue to employ artisans to use the practices they grew up with to create beautiful goods like carved soapstone serving platters and Ankole horn bottle openers.
Check out our interview with Courtney Poole Co-Founder of Rose & Fitzgerald here!
Shop Rose & Fitzgerald Online
Product Range | Hand rolled paper beaded jewelry
Why Uganda? | Founded by Brittany Underwood in 2004, Akola was created to provide income and confidence to local women. Akola is dedicated to reinvesting 100% of their profits to help educate and provide jobs for the women and families of Uganda. Their products have graced the pages of Elle and worn by celebrities like Sophia Bush and Jessica Alba.
Shop Akola Online
3. Krochet Kids International
Product Range | Men, women, and children’s clothing and accessories, especially beanies
Why Uganda? | Based in Peru and Uganda, Krochet Kids International’s goal in Uganda is “to equip the women of Northern Uganda with the financial assets and knowledge to enter into the local economy and thereby end their dependence on humanitarian aid.” Through the employment of Ugandan women, they are able to help support their families with consistent income.
Check out our interview with Co-founder Kohl Crecelius here!
Shop Krochet Kids Online
4. 31 Bits
Product Range | Hand rolled paper beaded jewelry and accessories
Why Uganda? | The founders, Kallie Dovel, Alli Swanson, Anna Toy, Brooke Hodges, and Jessie Simonson, were inspired by the resilience of the women and families displaced from years of wars across East Africa and desired to help them rebuild their lives. 31 Bits is built on four main pillars: Financial Sustainability, Physical/Mental Wellness, Social Support, and Community Impact for Ugandan women.
Check out our interview with co-founder Jessica Simonson here!
Shop 31 Bits Online
5. Sseko Designs
Product Range | Footwear, leather bags, and accessories
Why Uganda? | Sseko Designs began as a dream to send girls from Uganda to college as well as employing women across East Africa to help break the poverty cycle. So far they have been able to give the means to 87 women to attend college! We also are obsessed with their Voyager Travel Bag.
Check out our interview with founder Liz Forkin here!
Shop Sseko Designs Online
Product Range | Hand rolled beaded jewelry
Why Uganda? | With a catchphrase of “change starts with empowerment,” Tuli is focused on empowering the women of Uganda to help stimulate the economy and to create a long-term sustainable life for themselves and their families. Tuli’s beautiful jewelry reflects the culture and you know with every purchase it goes directly towards the Ugandan artisans.