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The artisans behind 31 Bits repurpose paper from posters, advertisements, and even textbook pages, which they tear into long strips, roll into tight beads, and then coat in a water-based varnish. The finished beads are strung into bracelets and necklaces or stitched into one of the company’s embroidered pieces.

“All of our products are carefully crafted by hand, from the first cut of paper to stringing on the final bead, every detail was thought through,” Dovel says. “Each piece is unique and tells a story because it was made by a real person.”

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But more than a piece of jewelry, each 31 Bits products offers the promise of hope to women who have only known political unrest, domestic violence, and war.

“The challenge of learning new designs and techniques has completely shifted the way our beneficiaries think about their lives,” Dovel says. “They live with confidence, ready to take on new challenges and dream for their futures. When you run your fingers across a strand of beads, we hope you’re transported to our Uganda headquarters, where you’ll hear singing, laughing, and storytelling. A community has been built around the making of these accessories.”

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