Creating the Demand for a Soulful Economy
by Francine LeFrak - Founder of Same Sky
Pioneers of the ethical shopping movement are joining forces to address their potential to mend some of the world's grim statistics.
2.7 billion people are living in poverty, and 40% of the world's population live on less than $2 a day.
We call it the Soulful Economy Movement; I am spearheading this movement alongside Donna Karan, Diane Osgood of Virgin United, and Zainab Salbi, the Founder of Women for Women. I represent my company Same Sky, a trade-not-aid initiative in Rwanda and America that provides jobs to women artisans.
As trailblazers of the ethical shopping movement, we have provided economic empowerment to 130 Rwandan Genocide survivors, TOMS has given shoes in over 60 countries, and FEED has provided over 10 million meals to children in the USA, among so many other endeavors. Donna Karan has done tremendous work in Haiti with her vision to help the country help itself by utilizing the potential of its talented artisans through well-designed products and raw materials.
But our accomplishments are not the focus of the Soulful Economy Movement. Rather, we focus on how to create a mainstream demand for soulful and meaningful products. We discuss the various ways to urge consumers to think about what kind of world they want to live in by the way they shop.
At Same Sky in order to create the demand for ethical shopping, we demonstrate how the consumer becomes a part of the artisan's story. When you purchase a Sky necklace, Clemantine, a Rwandan Genocide survivor, can now pay school fees for her children and Brigitte a victim of rape, now has health insurance, and hot food to take her HIV medication with. By wearing this jewelry you feel a connection to these artisans and the power of your choice.
So as the world's report card becomes increasingly troublesome, this is a call to action to remind everyone that our everyday choices are determining the lives of people in the developing world. I speak on behalf of all of those involved with the Soulful Economy Movement when I ask that designers, business owners, major labels, and entrepreneurs 'lean in' and provide consumers with feel good products and great stories.
Once consumers are exposed to Same Sky and ethical shopping, it is with certainty that they will feel the love and connection to the Soulful Economy Movement.
The movement is a ribbon that ties you to courageous artisans a world away—Same Sky’s jewelry is made more beautiful by the connection it symbolizes and how it makes you feel. So with the holidays approaching, be mindful of the impact of your purchases and their power to change lives.