Our girls were just sweet-cheeked littles when a factory in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,132 garment workers and injuring 2,500 more.
We had purchased cute clothes from a brand whose labels we saw lying in the dusty rubble. News coverage opened our eyes to questions we had never thought to ask. Who makes our clothes? What do their lives look like? How do our purchases affect them?
A few books, documentaries and long conversations later, we were on a plane headed to India. On the ground, we met with people who shared our vision to use fashion as a force for good.
We learned from those on the ground how desperate poverty robs children of their childhoods and leaves them vulnerable to what we, as First World parents, consider unthinkable. Unthinkable, because honestly, we hadn't spent much time thinking about the realities of desperate poverty.
As we drove through the streets we didn't see "those" little girls. We saw our little girls. And we desperately wanted to create a plot twist that could see a horror story transformed into a redemption story.
We believe living wage jobs are that plot twist. So much more than just a fair paycheck or a handout to meet a physical need, living wage jobs are the gift of dignity, purpose, and community.
As we drove through the streets we didn't see "those" little girls. We saw our little girls. And we desperately wanted to come up with a plot twist that could see horror stories transformed into redemption stories.
We’ve come to believe living wage jobs are that plot twist. So much more than just a paycheck or a handout to meet a physical need, living wage jobs are the gift of dignity, purpose, and community.
Not as easy of an idea to sell as "buy-something, give-something" - but worth the effort since living wage jobs have been proven substantially more life-changing for the recipient, with significant benefits extending to family and community members.
So here we find ourselves, evangelists of living wage jobs, cheerleaders of those willing to dream big dreams (because swimming upstream is not for the faint of heart), and champions of small, daily actions that add up to big change - both in our own lives and the lives of people we'll never meet.
We love sharing our family’s story - mostly to dispel the myth that if things are messy you must be doing something wrong. We believe it's more likely you're doing something right.