GULU Made is a company that has established a factory in Gulu, Uganda with the aim of providing a productive outlet for the many women in the area with excellent training in sewing skills.
These women, in many cases, sought training in hopes of rebuilding after the devastation caused by Joseph Kony, but despite the expert skill levels they attained, they still faced a lack of job opportunities.
GULU Made designs and makes high end bags and backpacks, but we have partnered with them to make our Bella Beek Signature Veils. When you buy one here, you support their work.
Learn more about our values and social impact partnerships by reading Our "Why" at BeeBuilt.
Words like 'ethical' and 'sustainable' get thrown around a lot these days, so what do we mean when we say these kinds of things at BeeBuilt?
If you want to do something sustainably, your process cannot exhaust your resources or push people into hardship, whether workers or the community at large. To keep our process sustainable, we use 'ethical sourcing' methods and create 'durable' products. Let's break those terms down:
Ethical sourcing is complicated, but at its core, it means means getting what we need without causing harm.
Pursuing a business model based solely on the bottom line of profit can quickly lead to creating harmful byproducts, exhausting natural resources, facilitating corruption, and exploiting workers. That's why we pursue the 'triple bottom line' of people, planet, and profit.
So how do we respect the rights of workers and communities, protect natural resources, and prevent harm to our ecosystems?
BeeBuilt turns these ideas into action with practices like opting in to UPS's carbon neutral shipping program when available, sourcing wood from as close by as possible to reduce shipping distances, using FSC® certified wood whenever possible, and partnering with social impact organizations.
Social Impact Organizations
Many manufacturers are available to make the types of products we offer, but some are sweatshops or have people working in slavery-like conditions. In looking for partner organizations, though, we want more than just "not a sweatshop". We want to work with organizations that actually improve the lives of their employees and communities. To this end, we carefully choose our partners and vet their business practices.
A BeeBuilt partner must, at minimum, meet the following standards (which we confirm with interviews and on-site visits):
1) They pay a true living wage—allowing a person to thrive
2) They provide a humane work environment without abuse or exploitation
3) They provide training in valuable and transferable skills that will allow those people to be able to bring those skills with them when they leave so they can continue to thrive
We prefer to partner with organizations that also provide community benefits like healthcare and childcare.