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Akola Supply Chain Transparency

Making an Impact Throughout the Entire Supply Chain

248 Women

Akola employs 248 women to hand-roll paper beads. We use Pantone-printed paper, and it takes up to ten minutes for a woman to hand-roll a strip of it into a bead. Fully owning the production of paper beads allows Akola to customize a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Bone

1 Woman

Goal to be Stage 3 by the end of 2018
Akola uses ethically sourced bone beads in bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Similar to our horn program, we also make bone beads in house through the same workshop.

Yarn

31 Women

Akola's yarn project takes place at Akola's Vocational Center in Northern Uganda and serves women who have just returned to their homes after being displaced by war. 31 Akola women earn monthly income by growing and harvesting cotton and spinning it into yarn. We continue to externally source dyed yarn from a Ugandan yarn spinnery in Kampala that spins only Ugandan cotton. 

Tailoring

1 Woman

Our tailoring program currently provides supplemental income to one tailor who hand cuts and sews all of our leather tassels for jewelry production. She also tailors Akola home goods and handbags.

Leather

0 Women

We have been procuring all of our leather from Global Leather. 

Metals

0 Women

Goal to be Stage 2 by the end of 2017

Horn

5 Women

Goal to be Stage 4 by the end of 2017
In 2016, Akola purchased a horn business from a local artisan named Wilson. He joined our team to teach Akola women the skill of hand-cutting and refining horn goods from beads to vases. The horn is from Ankole cows, ethically procured in Uganda as food byproduct. 

Glass

0 Women

Goal to be Stage 2 by the end of 2017
Our recycled glass is produced in Ghana and our java glass is made in Indonesia by manufacturers who have signed and adhere to our ethical standards to produce uniquely beautiful glass beads for Akola jewelry. 

Weaving

12 Women

Our weaving program is located in Eastern Uganda, where our 11 floor looms look over the Nile River. Our custom vocational training curriculum targets rurally-based Uganda women who have had little to no access to formal education. Our weaving curriculum has worked! Our 12 weavers are now completely self-sufficient artisans. 

Chain

0 Women

Goal to be Stage 2 by the end of 2017
Akola currently outsources all of our chain production to Fragments, but has plans to train Akola women to hand-make chain in 2017. 

Gemstones and Pearls

0 Women

A 10-year goal
Akola uses semi-precious gemstones and baroque pearls in our elevated collections, and the ethical sourcing of these components have been our most difficult challenge yet. We currently procure gemstones and pearls from fully audited manufacturers. 
As a member of the Bush Center's Women's Initiative, Akola has begun working with the African First Ladies and their offices to explore how their countries can support ethical manufacturing industries and how they can adopt Akola's cutting-edge holistic empowerment programs. Through this partnership, we are working to transform the practice of cutting and polishing gemstones to make a positive social impact by employing women.