If we’re going to spend $18.6 billion this Valentine’s Day let’s at least make an attempt to support some groups who are striving to incorporate ethics into their business practices.
It’s coming. The red hearts and chubby cupids plastered on windows. Chocolate-coated everythings and all the world’s red roses all up in your face. Buy, buy, buy. Love, love, love. Buy, love, buying is love is… Valentine’s Day!
I’ve done the rose petal thing, went uber-romantic, but the Valentine’s Day I’ll forever cherish was in 2011 when my fiancée and I held hands in an airplane prior to embarking on our new lives in Thailand. It was stressful, we were scared as all get out but we were together and feeling empowered and, as we still are, crazy in love.
But! One thing I learned while abroad was the importance of supporting companies that at least make an attempt to monitor their supply chains. I came to understand just how interwoven slavery is into the fabric of our lives. Although filtering your every purchase through what’s called a “slavery lens” offers no 100% guarantees, consider this: Americans will spend an estimated $18.6 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, with men spending about twice as much as women. What if what we spent our money on could make just as much impact on the world as it did on the person we spent it for?
We consuming consumers have power. If we’re going to spend $18.6 billion this year let’s at least make an attempt to support some groups who are striving to incorporate ethics into their business practices. Here are 4 I’ve been hearing good things about lately:
(1) A candle from Phoster Candles. Phoster is an eco-friendly, luxury candle company that employs impoverished farmers from around the world. In addition, they give half their profits to organizations fighting human trafficking, health education and disease prevention.
Bonus: Use code: GoodMen to save 10% at checkout.
(2) Flowers from One World Flowers. 80% of the flowers sold in the US are grown by exploited workers. One World has created a business model that both protects the environment and creates economic development for flower providers.
Bonus: You can choose a specific region to help, for example, Haiti. The story behind your flower could be as beautiful as the flower itself.
(3) A t-shirt (or other clothing) from 31eight. 31eight was created to merge the idea of fashion with the idea of helping those in need. $5 from every shirt is donated to a specific charity—especially those relating to modern-day slavery. The charities change every month, so this clothing line is able to help a wide variety of people.
(4) Some threads from Anchal Project – a non-profit merging design, business, and education to empower marginalized and exploited women living in India. Anchal’s artisans make one-of-a-kind scarves, quilts, and pillows out of layers of vintage cotton sari’s sewn together with a simple running stitch. Every purchase of an Anchal product helps create new economic realities so their artisans can break the cycle of forced prostitution in India.
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