Aarven – Reconditioned Laptops Helping Small Business Artisans In Uganda And Kenya

As an offshoot of our Digital Inequality project, we provided 3 reconditioned laptops to artisan crafts shop Aarven based in Margate. I travelled down to meet co-founder Bee Friedman to learn a bit more about what they do and how the laptops will help the craftsmen and women to build their businesses.

At Macnamara, we take decommissioning old equipment seriously. From a security perspective first and foremost, it’s vital that your company data is wiped securely. But that still leaves the physical hardware and the question of what to do with it.

One of the driving factors in our desire to recondition older laptops is the fact that so much e-waste is disposed of in an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ way. We’re all familiar with recycling and there are many organisations that will collect and recycle old electronic equipment. But what actually happens to it is often assumed. Much ‘recycled’ e-waste is in fact sent abroad and ends up being stripped of the metals and the rest buried in landfill or burned.

While most of the equipment we decommission is done because it has reached the end of it’s useful ‘business’ life, in many cases it can still be serviceable with a few modifications, such as re-installing with lighter Linux operating systems and other open source software.

But, even when it is re-purposed, we’ve always felt that it would be much nicer to know exactly where it’s going and what it will be used for. That’s why we partnered up with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation to deliver some of what comes our way to youth projects they work with, such as Grove Park Youth Centre in Lewisham, South London.

But, there’s so much more that can be done.  

About Aarven

Meaning ‘friend of the people’, AARVEN is an ethical homeware and jewellery brand founded by two adventurers, inspired by our artisans around the globe. From wood block printed textiles, recycled brass jewellery, to hand woven baskets, we design our joyful collections in collaboration with the worlds best artisans.

Aarven works with over 30 small scale artisan crafts people in several countries in Africa as well as India, producing a wide variety of ethically sourced and produced homeware and jewellery. As much as 90% is designed in-house by Amy Fleuriot-Reade, with the designs taken to the creators by Bee who travels to personally meet them at source (Aarven was initially titled ‘Artisans & Adventurers’ reflecting the adventurer spirit of both founders).

The artisans are more often than not from relatively impoverished communities. For many, their only access to the internet is via old Android devices or by travelling to internet café’s. This can be time consuming and relatively expensive. By providing some laptop hardware, they can get better access to online portals (one of which Bee is involved in helping to develop) and can better communicate with Bee and other vendors to help them build their businesses.

“Many of our artisans and producer groups are too small to be able to afford official certification. We therefore always carry out our own in-person audits, following the 10 principles of Fair Trade, to ensure our high social and environmental standards are met. Our designs are all made using either natural or recycled materials.”

For more information about Aarven, see their website: Artisans & Adventurers – AARVEN Better still, if you’re in Margate, why not pay them a visit!

If you would like to know more about this project, or would like to get involved, get in touch.

Like this article?

Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Share by Email

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Get the best IT tips and Office ideas in your inbox

Further reading

How To Set Up Signatures In Outlook

Email signatures are important and have a number of purposes. A well designed signature can be a real benefit to your company brand. They also provide all your contact details, can be used to help with marketing campaigns, and if you’re a business, provide important required information about your company registration. Here’s some guidance on adding signatures in Outlook.

Read More »

How To Find The Conflicts Folder in Outlook

In Outlook, the Conflicts folder is like a record of problems when your emails don’t sync well with the mail server. If there’s trouble syncing, you might end up with extra copies of the same email. These issues get listed in the Sync Issues folder. You wouldn’t often need to look in this folder, but over time it can get quite big, so you might occasionally need to see it to empty some space.

Read More »

How To Get Best Experience From Your Wireless Access Point

We all know that Wi-Fi can be much more convenient for your office setup than connecting everything via cable, and as Wi-Fi speeds and connectivity get better, more offices are switching to wireless. However, many people have concerns that wireless is less reliable than cabled, and they worry that they will struggle with weak signals or frequent disconnections. This blog will provide you with all the knowledge you need to get the best wireless experience and keep you at your desk rather than under it, fiddling with cables.

Read More »
Scroll to Top