When I was a child, I visited local craft fairs with my mother and aunt, and I loved seeing people’s creations and meeting the people who made them. I also liked knowing that the money I paid for the products went directly to them. That was income that would go directly to their family.
My passion for quality products continued while I was a college student studying in Costa Rica. During my time there, I met with entrepreneurs who had discovered a way to make paper products from a leftover banana plantation’s waste. I was struck, not only by their innovation, but also by their concept of creating usable products from recycled materials. Their paper product was sustainable, eco-friendly, and was having a positive impact in their local communities, their families, and their self-worth.
Over the past couple decades, I have watched as the fashion industry has undergone a rapid change with dramatic increases in big box stores, fast fashion and expedited deliveries. This business style approach has resulted in a complete lack of transparency in how, what, and where products are made.
The lack of education in where our products are being made and where they end up is detrimental to our health and environment. After the Industrial Age and an increase in global transportation, we have experienced mass production and overconsumption, especially in the United States. It is now recognized that buying local, reducing our footprint, being sustainable, concern over what materials go into our products, where they are being produced, quality over quantity are all important to our communities and our environment.
Ever since Costa Rica, I have wanted to pursue the development of a shared space where a collective group of liked-minded individuals can make a difference with our purchasing power. When the political climate and the macroeconomy feel beyond our control, it’s easy to feel hopeless. But we aren’t. Even seemingly small choices, like where to buy, can make a difference in a large way.
In this marketplace you will find a curated selection of products and vendors that have a shared commitment to design, quality, the environment, social impact, and transparency. We want to provide you with a platform to tell your stories and your passion. Hoping one day, those stories can turn into a larger movement.