The world has a long history of human rights abuses in manufacturing. We are all familiar with the word “sweatshops” and how it doesn’t refer to our favorite pair of cozy pants made for Sunday afternoon lounging. The story of people being mistreated in supply chains probably goes back to the Flintstone age with Fred’s car. It’s just always been there. While most might be a bit depressed by this, I look at it as an opportunity.
I run a business called The Root Collective. If you’ve been reading Still Being Molly for a while, you are likely no stranger to our handcrafted shoes. We are passionate about partnering with small-batch makers in Guatemala to craft shoes that are not only comfortable, but cute and ready to be worn for daily life. We love that we are working with changemakers in their communities in Guatemala, where jobs are scarce, violence is common, and hunger is no stranger. It gives us #allthefeels that we get to be a part of something so amazing, and that you get to join us for the ride by wearing these shoes. It’s seriously inspiring.
But the other part that we’re so passionate about is that we get to be a part of changing history. We get to redeem sweatshop manufacturing and produce goods that are crafted with people in mind. We get to ensure fair pay and ethical treatment. We have so much opportunity.
The thing that’s so great about shopping (besides everything), is that it provides you with an opportunity. You get to choose how and where you spend your money. You get to pick which companies to support. It’s kind of freaking amazing, actually. In January 2016, the average consumer spent $81 a day, and January is the slowest spending month of the year on average. That’s a lot of pennies. And the super cool thing is that all of those pennies determine the kind of world that you live in. Consumers are the most powerful people in the world.
You. Are. Powerful.
It’s so amazing that we get to go on this journey of making the world a kinder place together. It’s incredible that our past does not have to be our future. It’s hopeful that things can change. You get to say “no” to sweatshops and “yes” to change. You get to say that you know that there is a face and a name behind every single thing you buy, and you want that person to be treated fairly. You get to choose. If that doesn’t make you feel powerful, I don’t know what will. You are literally part of changing the course of our future, every single day and every single time you pull out your wallet.
The world is changing, friends. Will you be a part of it?
Don’t worry, I’m not going leave you hanging after this whole speech about making a difference with no way to act on it. There are so many brands that are conscious of their supply chain and want to be kind in their production. It may not be as easy as going to the mall (although Nordstrom and J. Crew are among some major stores that are really working towards ethical production, among so many others), but it entirely possible.
Not only does Molly have a list of ethical brands on her site, but we have one too. Just hop on over to The Root Collective and sign up to receive our ebook with a slew of brands that are working to make the world a better place through fashion.
Changing the world really is that easy. Just be intentional with how you spend your money and change is inevitable.