I’m going to out myself a little bit here, but I’m hoping it will be worth it for you.
About 12 years ago, one of my friends was having a birthday party and offering gifts to the guests through some sort of a drawing process. We were in a swanky location, all dressed up, and I was excited in anticipation of what my little gift would be.
When my turn came, I opened up the gift and . . . it was a reusable shopping bag from Whole Foods. Wah. Wah. I had a huge, albeit very naive, judgement in my mind. Why would anyone buy this ugly thing and carry it around, when you can just use free bags at the grocery store??? I tried not to react out loud with disappointment, but I really didn’t understand. I gave the bag to a friend who shopped at Whole Foods and moved on with my life.
I was pretty clueless.
Here I sit, 12 years later, writing to you on Fashion Friday about making ethical fashion choices. It’s funny how life circles back for you. I’ve learned a lot since then. I wish I could say I’ve learned slowly over the last 12 years, but that’s really not the truth.
I’ve learned quickly over the last ONE year.
For a lot of years I saw socially responsible living and fashion as a forest. I couldn’t see a path for me, just a bunch of trees. It looked confusing, hard and overwhelming.
I didn’t think I could find my way, so I didn’t even try.
For me, it wasn’t until last summer, when I read a story, about a woman who gave up everything to help previously addicted women in Nashville get a new start. I saw how easy it could be for me to support them through one purchase.
It was one step on the path.
Then I started learning about the stories of so many of these beautifully courageous women who were social entrepreneurs. When I saw them devoting their lives to making it easier for us to create positive change through our shopping choices, I realized this whole socially responsible thing might be a little less difficult (and a lot more important) than I once thought.
I saw a path in front of me.
It wasn’t the path of being able to change every buying habit I’d built over my entire life. At first, it was a path of becoming aware of the choices I was making. Around the bend, that path led to making a few better choices when it came to shopping. Then, I could see a path to actually joining the mission to help others make better choices by opening our shop, to make it easier for you to find some of these amazing companies that are creating life-changing impact around the world.
Now, the path in front of me is one of directly supporting these women who are on the front lines, in the thick of the forest, by creating ways to help them improve their businesses and their lives.
It all started with a story that helped me see the path in front of me.
The path in front of you will undoubtedly look different from the path in front of me.
But today, maybe you could simply begin to pay more attention to the little things you can do. Like sharing a story of the great impact someone is making. . .
Wherever you are, just look at the path in front of you today.
And take a single step.
to more love,