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Photo by Paula Watts Photography

As an advocate for social justice, I think a lot about changing the world. The idea of eliminating sex trafficking from the world can seem like an overwhelming mission and one that many of us do not take lightly. We know that to create systemic, sustainable change, it takes a collective force: many people doing one thing differently every day, instead of taking one big solitary action. The future of social enterprise is exciting: so many entrepreneurs are breaking old models, wielding the power of business to make the world a better place. Collectively, with the force of business owners and buyers, sustainable change is possible.

There are thousands of B Corp companies working to solve social issues and make a profit. When we, as consumers, hold companies accountable, companies must change their habits. It is not easy changing people’s habits, but over time, conscious consumerism will be the new normal. These current, shifting times are exposing the dawning of a new business model—business for good. These businesses are part of a movement, similar to the Slow Food movement and other grassroots awareness campaigns where people are stopping to ask: Where is this made? What goes into the manufacturing of the foods I eat, the clothes I wear, the items in my shopping cart and who stands to gain? Who stands to lose?

Altering how we make and buy clothing is not easy; one lesson I learned from my own mother was that easy isn’t always right. At Sudara, we very much care who is crafting our products, and we care about what they’re getting paid, we care about how they’re doing mentally and physically. Our supply chain isn’t a nebulous factory making our pants, our supply chain is the very reason we, here in the US, are working to make the company a success—but we are just one example. The social enterprise movement is turning the reason for making money on its back. This movement is inclusive: consumer, company, stakeholder, maker, everyone has a responsibility to shape this change. We all need to ask more of our favorite brands and make the supply chain transparent.

Socially conscious companies want you to know how your purchase carries more weight than the regular consumer product arriving at your doorstep or being tossed into your shopping cart along with greeting cards and hand soap. People’s lives, the quality of their lives, hangs in the balance on the other side of that purchase. That’s at the core of the work in a social impact business. The everyday choices of shoppers are the key to continued success for any purpose-driven company, and for the causes they serve.

Here are some of our favorite brands that you can shop to be a part of this movement:
The cutest pajamas, robes and loungewear ever, made by survivors of sex trafficking or those at highest risk. Perfect for a gift or a little something for yourself.

A luxury lifestyle brand that hand selects the highest quality leather to make timeless products by way of age-old traditional craftsmanship - all while creating opportunities for vulnerable women to become economically independent.

They sell unique and beautiful jewelry, through their social impact employment model, every product purchased supports job creation for people transitioning out of homelessness.

Joyn is committed to bringing hand-to-market goods (the pieces in their online shop are one of a kind and so special!) with transparent pricing and ethical practices.

Through sales of their gorgeous jewelry, Starfish Project restores hope to women escaping human trafficking and exploitation in Asia by providing life-changing opportunities in their Holistic Care Programs.

They create awesome outdoor products (jackets, backpacks, and more!) and experiences that fund sustainable solutions that address the most persistent needs of those living in extreme poverty.

For incredible mens and womens footwear, Oliberté is a sustainable brand supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa.

The place to find incredible natural home and body products handmade by women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.

FROM THE EDITOR
At Conscious, we feature powerful stories about global initiatives, innovation, community development, social impact and more. You can read more stories like this and connect with a growing community of global leaders when you join as a member.

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