S.O.U.L. Foundation gifted the clutch featured in this post, but all opinions are my own.
As many of you know, I love supporting products/brands with a story who also help benefit the less fortunate. In the past, I've featured brands such as 31 Bits, Ricefield Collective and Sseko Designs. Today I'm sharing S.O.U.L. Foundation, which based out of Bujagali Falls in Uganda.
The foundation was started in 2009 by Brooke Stern, who was visiting in the area with her father. S.O.U.L. serves Bujagali and surrounding villages, and just recently expanded into another district. Its main focuses are education, women's empowerment, food security and health. It really is a holistic "bottom-up" (for lack of a better term) organization, as all of its programs are based on needs within the community, and started with community discussion and involvement.
SOUL and the women they work with came together to create the Mulungi Collection. "Mulungi" means "beautiful," in the local Lusoga dialect, and the program was started as a way for women in the village to earn an income. Many of the women are widowed or single mothers who were seeking ways to support their children's tuition.
The women gather together to make the bags, which also provides a forum for them to bond and confide in one another. The bags are made from locally-sourced materials, underscoring the importance of sustainability. The fashion line includes Mulungi beaded bags in a variety of sizes, beaded jewelry, headbands and African handmade baskets. Each piece is created with the intention of uniting sisterhood and feminine energy among women across the globe.
All Mulungi purchases directly support the dignified entrepreneurial efforts of Ugandan women, empowering them to break the cycle of poverty. How can you not get behind a company like this? It is so inspiring!
I was sent one of their beautiful clutches, which sell for $59 and come in a variety of colorways, to feature on the blog. The beads are hand-made from recycled magazines and posters and the bags are lined with traditional African fabric. Below are some photos of the clutch, check back later in the week for an outfit post featuring it!
Clutch: Mulungi Collection c/o S.O.U.L. Foundation