How often do you think about the people, usually women, behind the things you buy? As an individual I know I need to make more effort to ensure my purchasing decisions don't cause human suffering or environmental harm. But as a retailer I can hold my head up pretty high.
Here at Aerende, we want to make it easier for consumers to have a positive effect on women around the world by considering the impact of our products at every level. So, we think about materials – how they are made; how women in developing countries are affected by tiny things that many of us never think about (fabric dye in their water, husbands driven to suicide by Monsanto’s pushing of GMO cotton crops, how they can afford childcare). We think about women who struggle for employment, or who have low self esteem and try and work out ways to improve their confidence, or increase their opportunities. We think about the end of life, what happens to our products when they wear out (in a long time) and what happens to women elsewhere when their landscapes and food sources become littered with plastic. We encourage people to buy thoughtfully for the long term by only selling items, like this multifunctional organic pouch (it could be a washbag an iPad case or a pencil holder), that are special, unique, characterful – just like the women who make them (in this case those recovering from mental health illnesses in London). We think about this stuff not as a branding exercise but because it is what all good business should do. Our success won’t be made off the back of women who aren’t able to make the same kinds of choices we are. We want to empower women who don’t believe in themselves or who don’t have a voice. To stand with them and say we've got you. We care. We will try every day not to let you down.
But this stuff doesn’t happen in the vacuum of social media. It happens when people make real changes and purposeful decisions. Together we can make a difference. Please join us this #internationalwomensday to really live our ideals and think about how our daily choices impact others. Together we can #beboldforchange