B Corp month is in full swing, and this week the focus is all about ‘the workers’. Here at Pala we often celebrate the artisans behind our lovely cases, however on this occasion we wanted to highlight a couple of other brands working closely alongside their respective communities and showcase the value that comes from such partnerships.
Yala’s ultimate goal is to financially empower the artisans we work with. They are survival entrepreneurs who operate in the informal sector, and they have wide nets of dependents who also rely on their income. By ensuring that we pay them well over and above the living wage, we’re giving them a chance to thrive and participate more fully in the economy in Kenya. This gives them dignity, choices and a sense of pride.
This is why we joke that Yala isn’t really about jewellery at all – it’s merely a vehicle to put money in the pockets of the artisans we work with by giving them access to international markets.
Audrey Migot-Adholla, Founder, Yala Jewellery, B Corp.
At NewGround, our goal is to “do good” from source to destination. The Zukuka Bora Coffee Project in Mt. Elgon in Uganda has always been a part of our story, all the way back when the idea of NewGround was formed. One of our friends went out to Uganda to be part of this project, to work alongside local coffee farmers, equipping them with improved, organic production methods and top-quality cultivation principles. They are helping Ugandan farmers to re-imagine their product and drastically increase their return. By linking farmers directly to overseas markets and roasting companies like us, they are able to obtain a better and fairer price for their world-class coffee.
Our friend has seen amazing work within the community over in Uganda and said to us “wouldn’t it be amazing if we saw life changing work happen in the countries where this coffee is drunk too?”.
These words sparked the idea of having a social enterprise in the UK, importing and roasting speciality coffee, including the sensational coffee from the Zukuka Bora Coffee Project, and using this business as a vehicle to run training and employment programs for ex-offenders.
The idea that something as simple as coffee can change lives all the way through the chain, from the farmers growing and processing it, to our staff roasting it is the real driving force behind NewGround.
Dickon Morris, Co-Founder & Director, New Ground Coffee. B Corp in waiting.
The health of our planet is inextricably linked to the impact on populations around the world. Climate change intensifies poverty and income inequality creating favourable conditions for urbanization and migration from low to high latitude countries.
In Bolgatanga, Ghana, where the female weavers for our recycled sunglasses cases live, increasing drought has meant the traditional straw they rely on is no longer readily available. By providing recycled plastic directly to the communities we are ensuring that they don’t have to travel hours to source their material as well as help towards preserving traditional weaving skills that have passed through generations.
The weavers of Bolgatanga are considered some of the very best across the whole of Ghana. Pala pays the weavers what is termed locally a ‘prosperity wage’, providing an income that helps them to empower themselves out of poverty and improve their standard of living. It’s about building long term relationships to build on the work we are doing together and in doing so we can expect to help deliver more impact and change.
John Pritchard, Founder, Pala Eyewear, B Corp.
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Felicia is our ‘camera ninja’ when it comes to photography for the Pala website. Hailing from Sweden, but now based close to the Pala Brighton HQ. When she’s not exercising her skills of mind control to make models relax on shoots you’ll find her in a cafe enjoying a good cup of coffee, or at home baking cinnamon buns.
Emma is our marketing guru. When Emma isn’t planning, strategizing and creating content, she can be found travelling the world exploring its wonders, or in more recent times – headphones on with a paintbrush in her hand creating an abstract masterpiece!
Mary is the team leader of the Care4basket project in Bolgatanga, Ghana. When Mary is not organising and supporting the work across the communities, you will find her sowing sweet potatoes, ground nut, millet and looking after the animals on the farm.
Izzy is our Sales and Comms mastermind. When Izzy isn’t throwing herself down a mountain on a snowboard, she can normally be found rummaging through vintage shops or pounding the fields with her beloved puppy, Mac. She once mislaid a finger on a night out (eek!) – girl knows how to party!
Justin is our ‘Film Alchemist’. When he’s not laying on the floor looking for the next shot he’s either exploring the finest bourbons and listening to obscure country music tracks from the 50s and 60s. Normally found planning his next trip abroad or fuelling the pineapple on pizza debate. Just so you know he’s firmly in the Hawaiian camp!