Ok, first let me be clear: There are a lot of ways to spend your money and giving it to charity is one of the good things. However, in this blog I will tell you why I look at it slightly differently.
When I was in secondary school, one of my classmates gave a presentation about charities, that they are the 5th world economy and what happens with the collected money (back then). From that moment on, I looked at big charities with a critical eye. I wondered how they were able to pay their employees, tv commercials and promotional products. I found out a lot of their activities are based on voluntary work, but a lot is not. Ever wonder how much a CEO of a charity earns? And is this ok according to you? When you donate, whether you are multi-millionaire or a regular wage earner, you want your money to make a difference, right? Soon, I decided to only give money and stuff to small charities, in person, so I knew where my money was going.
Lately, I have been thinking about this whole thing again, and I will try to write my thoughts down clearly. I think that the main cause of world poverty, very poor working conditions, over harvesting forests and more of that bad stuff is caused by the (Western) way of consuming. We do have enough food to feed all people, however we throw half of it away (did you know that between 30% and 50% of all food is thrown away without making it to a plate?!). We probably wouldn’t have to face issues such as over harvesting, if we recycled more. The same goes for issues with human rights: we wouldn’t have to fight so hard for them, if consumers just demanded fair produced products. Ok, this is a simple thought. These matters also depend on politics, economics, climate, etc., but the point is clear right?
I truly believe that we can make a change, as individual consumers. Every time you pay for something, you cast a vote. Let’s say Mary buys a new outfit at Zara, therefor she ‘votes’ for and contributes to poor working conditions and maybe even child labour. The next day she donates money to Unicef for a project against child labour. Sounds weird right…? I noticed a lot of students doing this. They care about human rights and the environment, but don’t know much about the earnest pollution of the fashion industry and think sustainable fashion is too expensive. To me, it is very simple: I stopped donating to charity, and buy sustainable fashion instead. By buying only fair and organic, I cast my vote ánd I improve the working conditions for many people. Let’s show you a couple of brands I really like, to show you how this works.
Our Instagram followers are already updated about this fantastic lingerie brand. Nonetheless I love to show it again. Who says sustainability is not sexy, is wrong. I mean, damn! Just look at Naja and you know enough. Naja is a product of their own passions and beliefs: a love for beautifully designed things, a bit of rebelliousness, and a deep desire to make the world a better place. On the webshop, you can directly find who made your lovable piece and read their personal story. Naja empowers women who have difficulties finding a job, because for example they are a single mom in the slums of Colombia. By purchasing Naja you provide continuing education for those women. That’s not all: Naja also offers an eco-friendly collection with panties made from recycled plastic and printed digitally to reduce water consumption. There is one downside however, Naja is a USA brand, and not available for us in the Netherlands. But as soon as it is, we will be first in line!
As we speak, I receive my first MUD jeans, in a reusable package. The jeans in the picture below is the one I purchased. Jeans allows customers to shop guilt free and do good for the environment, while looking fashionable and modern. Not only are materials sustainable sourced and jeans produced fair, MUD Jeans also offers a circular concept! You can lease your jeans or send them back after wearing so they can be either fixed or reused. This all goes by a very simple question, leading to a very serious dream. What if we all clean up our own mess? A world without waste.
SOCCIII is a webshop I would like to recommend. This webshop understands that the term ‘sustainability’ can be very broad and vague. And that we all don’t prioritize the same matters. While one thinks fair trade is most important, somebody else advocates eco-materials. What SOCCIII does is to provide you with filters while shopping. This way you can find items based on your idealistic beliefs! Oh, and 10% of the revenue goes straight to charity, so here you really can shop fashion ánd give to charity. Best of both 🙂