A. Bernadette partners with artisans in Uganda to design, create, and sell handcrafted fashion accessories made from recycled and natural materials. For the past three years, we have been collaborating with the same group of women from Northern Uganda. We search for natural and recycled raw materials in markets, rubbish heaps, and fields and assess their quality and availability. The artisans bring examples of traditional crafts and we to adapt them to create modern designs. The artisans organize production in cooperative groups.
Artisans and staff in Uganda generate income to support their families. Profits from the sale of accessories in America are reinvested in Uganda to provide financial literacy and education for artisans to create and sustain their own small businesses.
A. Bernadette engages with like-minded individuals and organizations to promote/raise awareness in the following areas:
1) Empowerment - We empower the artisans we work with in Uganda as well as our customers in America by creating partnerships and relationships between the two groups. We believe in self-determination: the right of each individual/group to pursue their own goals in the manner of their choosing. We promote self-determination through financial literacy education and small business incubation. In Uganda, this means being honest with the artisans about sales and income and encouraging them to actively pursue income generating activities in their local communities. In America, this means being transparent in all decision making, especially financial information and encouraging customers to learn about and participate in ethical consumption.
2) Ethical Consumption - We educate and promote the practice of ethical consumption: the belief that customers can use everyday shopping activities to bring benefit to the environment and communities. We encourage 'positive buying' where ethical products are favored, or 'moral boycott', by limiting the purchase of products or from companies that don’t match customers’ values. We present information and promote discussion about sustainable economic practices like sharing economies, community consumption, and cooperative business models.
3) Resource Awareness/Conservation - We promote resource awareness and conservation through sustainable home economics: efficient time, money, and energy saving tools and techniques; participation in traditional and modern arts and crafts. Promote community involvement and skill-building through engaging people in fun activities like gardening, cooking, crafting, DIY that benefit triple bottom line.
A. Bernadette partners with (impoverished, struggling) artisans to design, create, and sell handcrafted fashion accessories made from recycled and natural materials. We will reduce artisans’ dependence on charity and interrupt generational cycles of poverty by providing opportunities for sustainable economic development.
Provide a) access to new markets, designs, and materials; b) education; c) artisan-owned small business incubation in artisans’ local community.
A. Bernadette's mission is to create products that achieve the triple bottom line: PEOPLE, PLANET, PROFIT.
A. Bernadette’s vision: A world in which Capitalism is refocused to benefit both the Community and Environment.