Last weekend I attended the Buy Good. Feel Good. Expo in Toronto, a massive exhibition of over a hundred non- and for-profit businesses, all with a common mission to do better for the world. I spent hours talking to many of the makers, buyers and social innovators that built business models on the theme of empowering the poorest communities in the world by promoting ethical fashion, fair trade, eco-friendly and sustainable practices. It was incredibly humbling to meet these change-makers and then ask myself, How can I do better?
It’s so easy to ignore a problem when we aren’t forced to experience its impact. Out of sight, out of mind, right? We can’t be that selfish, can we? The hard reality is, the way we spend our dollars on the day to day can perpetuate many of the problems the poorest, and our planet, face. However, if we become mindful enough to start making small changes, collectively we will change the pattern, and lessen the harmful impact our choices inevitably have.
These businesses all have faith in a socially conscious consumer, and I believe they are on to something. Thanks to globalization, it’s impossible to put blinders on anymore. Their stories make the human connection real, and the impact tangible.
Chic Made Consciously is a fair trade company that works with local artisans in Indonesia to sell leather-looking accessories upcycled from tire inner tubes.
JustOne empowers former child soldiers and women with HIV from Uganda and Kenya, to create timeless pieces of jewelry, and putting a face to the maker behind the piece.
A Million Elephants creates handcrafted products from recycled bomb aluminum from Laos whilst supporting de-mining efforts in the country’s rural communities.
Boro is rethinking sustainable fashion by stewarding an online inventory of gently used clothing to reduce the waste and pollution the retail industry inflicts on our planet.
Are you inspired yet?