I thought it time to share a few of the companies I've come in contact with that are doing good in the world. I wish more time were spent sharing their stories. So here are four of the many I admire.
Boll and Branch
Missy and Scott Tannen were perplexed when shopping for sheets last year. They couldn't figure out between thread count and price which was the best brand or product to buy. Been there, done that. But they decided to start their own sheet company and not just any sheet company; one with a mission. The Tannens describe their new line as "linens with a mission": 300-thread-count sheets and cable-knit throws made exclusively from Global Organic Textile Standard-certified organic cotton from fair-trade farms and factories in India. Boll & Branch uses only low-impact, fiber-reactive dyes rather than pigment dyes because they do not contain any known toxins or heavy metals and are considered eco-friendly pigments.
Their sheets are crafted by adults who are paid a fair wage in above-standard work conditions that keep everyone's health and safety in mind. Their products are made ethically by workers who are treated well and are working by choice. Their cotton is 100% GOTS-certified organic which means less impact on the environment, less water used in production, and guaranteed to be safe. Plus, Boll & Branch donates a portion of every sale they make to Not For Sale, which fights modern-day slavery around the world. So these are the sheets I've chosen recently for a good night's sleep.
Ali Ly used to watch me on Movie & a Makeover and became a fan so when she moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, a growing city in East Africa three years ago and started working with the founder of a nonprofit business called Karama how could I not become of fan of hers. Karama means an "intrinsic gift, needed to be given" in Swahili, and "dignity" in Arabic. Karama was born originally to provide women with skills, jobs with which to use those skills, and a marketplace that would keep African artisans' businesses going, while sharing their stories of social, spiritual, and financial freedom with American customers. Since those humble beginnings, they have grown to sharing the stories of over 500 artisans and their families. I've picked a few of my favorites from the Karama Gifts
collection as much for the product as the story behind it.
This teardrop necklace is made by a partner group in the Entoto Mountainside, just outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Started by a local church group, this project employs men and women who are HIV-positive. It all began when HIV-infected men and women heard of "healing waters" emerging from the mountains, and so they followed paths up the mountains to wait for this water. These men and women left jobs and homes, and thus started begging and even selling their bodies in order to make a living while waiting for healing to come. As the local church watched, they devised a plan to create a jewelry training program for these men and women to give them employment, and bring them away from the lure of these healing waters, which left them still sick with HIV. Now, Entoto Beth, Karama's partner, employs hundreds of men and women who create jewelry out of coffee beans and recycled artillery and other recycled metals.
Neema Crafts, found in the town of Iringa, Tanzania, employs hundreds of men and women, most of them having physical disabilities, and many whom are deaf. In a society where physical disabilities and deafness are still considered "unacceptable" and render a person "useless," men and women with these difficulties are often abused, abandoned, and neglected. Ali tells me that as you walk through the doors into the Neema center, an incredible spirit of love and acceptance is experienced. The Kitenge journals are measured and cut from Tanzanian fabric (kitenge) by men and women going through training at Neema crafts.
(part owned by National Geographic) is an online, fair-trade market place based in Los Angeles. At any given time, NOVICA features more than 30,000 limited edition and one-of-a-kind handmade works of art, ranging from artisan-crafted jewelry to home decor. Launched in 1999, to date NOVICA has helped change the lives of 75,000 people in developing nations, including artisans and their dependents, uniquely helping each artisan earn personal recognition and real-world prices for their work.
Couldn't resist this incredible photograph of the Melasti Ceremony in Bali. According to Hindu traditions in Indonesia, the Melasti ceremony serves to purify Bhuana Alit (small world) and Bhuana Agung (universe) during the Balinese New Year.
One Hope Wine
Their motto - Indulge. Do Good. #WineNot
I've written about them before and even shared their story on TV, but in case you haven't heard, One Hope Wine funds multiple causes with half of their profits. Yup, 50% of sales from their wines go to fund organizations working to find forever homes for pets, fight breast cancer, end childhood hunger, support our troops, help children with autism and more. So whether you like a pinot or a merlot, they have good taste in helping others.
Do you LOVE your pets like I do? So do they. That’s why ONEHOPE’s Pinot Noir helps animals across the country to find their forever home. Inside this box you’ll find a treat for you (the wine!) and some treats that your furry friend will love. Pinot for Paws, $49 includes a bottle of pinot noir, dog treats, rawhide, rope toy and a $10 gift card.
What’s better than a glass of wine? A glass of wine and a cookie! Enjoy Cookies & Corks’ gourmet cookies - specifically paired to complement our ONEHOPE Cabernet Sauvignon that helps provide ABA behavioral therapy for a child with Autism. Cookies & Cab, $49 includes cabernet sauvignon, a jar of cookies and a $10 gift card.