When I started The Honest Consumer in 2016 I did not want to be in the pictures. If you scroll back to the beginning of my Instagram feed, you will notice I'm rarely in a photograph. When I thought about bloggers, I pictured that perfect girl with the photogenic lifestyle and that's not who I am or what The Honest Consumer is. I wanted The Honest Consumer to focus on the mission of companies making a difference, not me.
Honestly, my life is messy and far from photogenic. The picture featured above...definitely not my desk. My desk is never that organized. It was interesting to me that when I started to highlight the honesty of my life such as who I am as a person: passionate about doing good, being real, and struggling with anxiety, people started to relate. I try to keep it real, after all I am The Honest Consumer.
In 2001 Jarrod and Allison Brown were doing mission work in response to the hurricane that hit Central America. During this time they observed a need for opportunity mixed with a lack of economic stability. The two social entrepreneurs felt that God was encouraging them to help. In 2004 Jarrod and Allison officially founded Mission Lazarus, a non-profit focusing on education, medical, and agricultural outreaches serving Honduras and eventually expanding into Haiti in 2011.
Let's be honest. I couldn't pull off The Honest Consumer all by myself. Thankfully I am surrounded by incredibly creative and supportive friends who are willing to help out. These beautiful souls deserve a shout out and more thank yous than I could ever give. Learn a bit about these lovely humans with some fun facts.
Mawu Lolo sandals are creating opportunity and employment for women in Ghana allowing them to lift their families out of poverty.
Mawu Lolo founder, David was a commercial real estate developer in Minnesota when he got connected with Sam, an inspiring pastor working in Ghana. Through this friendship, David learned about issues in Ghana such as the lack of education and opportunity for women. David was impressed with Sam’s drive to help and formed a partnership with Sam's ministry, Globalserve, to assist in setting up two schools in Ghana, a preparatory school and a vocational school.
Mini + Meep creates earthy, eclectic style for tiny humans beginning their journey in the world.
Mini + Meep founder, Fay began creating watercolor based designs in college. She realized she could use these designs to create a positive impact. Fay, and her close friend Michelle, used the nature inspired designs to co-found The Tote Project. After The Tote Project took off, Fay decided to create a similar line of clothes with her baby on the way soon.
While browsing a boutique I saw a "Consume Less, Be More" bumper sticker. I love this saying... although I did think it was a bit ironic customers have to buy the bumper sticker. I think this little phrase is a great point to consider. All in all consumerism is a good thing. It is part of what fuels our economy and creates jobs. However, I think it is how we consume that can occasionally get out of hand.
When walking into this chic ice cream shop, you will be greeted with a warm smile followed by a welcoming HOWDY. Howdy Homemade is an ice cream shop in Dallas that trains and employs young adults with down syndrome or autism.
Want to "look good and save animals?" GoodBeads jewelry is carefully crafted with a love for nature and sustainable materials. For each piece of jewelry sold, GoodBeads donates $5 to a partnering nonprofit focusing on wildlife & conserving the environment.
After working in the apparel industry, Renewal Workshop co-founders Nicole and Jeff noticed an opportunity to change the way brands view unwanted and excess product, in an effort to keep textiles out of landfills. For example, when a product is returned to a brand with a rip or a dysfunctional zipper, this garment cannot be sold as new apparel and typically ends up in a landfill.
Consume with Love was born out of the passion for social justice and sustainable living. Founded by sisters Megan and Michele, these two discovered that their unique interests could come together for the greater good.
Haiti will break you in the most beautiful way. The Haitian people are welcoming, kind, and have an amazing culture. Despite what the American media might tell you the Haitians are some of the most hardworking, resourceful individuals I have ever met.
As many of you know I am in Haiti through my university's study abroad program. Today we visited the social enterprise of REBUILD Globally, Deux Mains Designs. The work done by Deux Mains Designs is incredible! Deux Mains Design creates shoes and accessories using locally sourced leather and recycled tires.
Check out the video I made for Fashion Revolution Week! I've teamed up my lovely friend Britt from Frances & Theo! We'd love for you to participate in our giveaway and be part of Fashion Revolution week!
If you are local to the Nashville area come say HELLO. Monday, April 10th I will have a booth at the Entrepreneur Village on Belmont's lawn from 10-2. Come learn about conscious consumerism, social enterprise, and enter to win some groovy prizes!
Z Shoes sources sustainable materials from communities in Peru creating economic stability. They also donate 2.5% of revenue to Not for Sale, a non-profit that focuses on community development by focusing on education and healthcare aspects.
Songs Against Slavery hosts benefit concerts to raise awareness of human trafficking and raise funds for their partnering non-profits.
Songs Against Slavery’s passionate co-founders, Grace and Lauren met in high school. As the two set out for separate colleges in Michigan, they did not expect to become co-founders of a non-profit. When the two friends returned home from their first year of college Grace expressed concerns about an article she had read pertaining to sex trafficking. Grace felt called to take action and address the ongoing issue with her passion for music.
Each BANDED product provides three meals for a child in Uganda, Latin America, or the Caribbean.
BANDED was inspired by a gap in the market place of headbands causing headaches. When BANDED was first designing their headbands, the team figured out a mechanism to fit children and adults pain free. This led to an innovative patent on BANDED’s headbands which have intricate pockets on the side of the headbands allowing for comfort and stability.
The BANDED team wanted to do more than just make a good product. They wanted to make an impact.
White Field Farm is a social enterprise providing employment to survivors of human trafficking through the creation of soaps, candles, lotions, and more.
White Field Farm has partnered with a local non-profit The Hope Project. The Hope Project was founded due to the high human trafficking rate in Long Island and the disconnect between resources and survivors recovering. The Hope Project saw an opportunity and is in the process of creating a program centralizing resources survivors need.
WOW! Aunt Flow is changing the game. Aunt Flow is a social enterprise starting the conversation about menstrual cycles and the lack of accessibility to menstrual cycle hygiene products. Aunt Flow is a buy one, give one subscription box of all natural, biodegradable menstrual cycle hygiene products. For each box sold, an equal amount of products are donated to a partner organization helping those in need receive access to pads and tampons. Aunt Flow uses gender neutral language when discussing menstrual cycles to carry out their mission of being inclusive to all regardless of economic status or gender.
Bohnd Bracelets sell bracelets that bring people together while encouraging individuals to embrace their unique stories. A portion of the bracelet profits are invested in young student entrepreneurs. My Bohnd Bracelet colors are green and pink. These colors serve as a reminder that despite the chaos taking place in the world, it is important to focus on loving one another.
40K was started twelve years ago when co-founder Clary went to India as a naïve law student and noticed locals working in an illegal quarry. He was appalled by the unfair working conditions and felt called to take action. After talking to the locals Clary discovered these hardworking parents wanted to provide an education for their children. Co-founder Clary was on a mission to raise $40,000 to build a school in rural India.
Well, as of today The Honest Consumer is officially one year old. Reflecting back on this past year...what a wild ride and so much in the future! When I started The Honest Consumer I was just following my passion for social enterprise and conscious consumerism. Never did I guess thousands of people would be reading. What a blessing! I am so grateful for all the support. It is an honor that so many businesses let me share their story and their products. I have met so many wonderful people and grown so much.
“As a small business owner my favorite part is engaging with people who really love the product. It’s important to find brands that you really have kinship with. Those customer relationships inspire the businesses to keep going.” –Andie Day, founder of Mary Claret.
A little bit of honesty from The Honest Consumer. I'm sure you have noticed I have not been posting as frequently. In all honesty I've been struggling. This semester has been hard for me. I'm in some challenging classes, working two jobs, an internship, and running blogs. My mind has felt quite scatterbrained lately.