Last August, I went to an event that informed, inspired and provoked me to believe that fashion and social good can co-exist. Conscious Collaborations by Ethical Fashion Academy was a very personal round table discussion with New York-based fashion social entrepreneurs who have made positive change their life mission. It made me think: with a background that is a mixture of communications, fashion and social media, how can I contribute and help smaller organizations raise awareness about their causes?
A month later, I got my answer. Attending Mashable’s Social Good Summit - an amazing event where I saw how global leaders use tech innovation to fight the world’s biggest challenges – fostered me to come with the idea of a social movement that would bring together fair trade organizations in a collective effort to create change. Meeting the social media guru for non-profits Beth Kanter was another inspiration to get the campaign going. How about picking a day that would serve as an antidote for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, let’s say Tuesday? Check. Where would it be based? In social media space, of course. Check.
Global Goods Partners, a fair trade non-profit that I had just started volunteering for, was the perfect platform for starting the movement: great mission (selling handmade fair trade products in order to improve the economic status of women in marginalized communities in Africa, Asia and South America), impeccable reputation and an amazing team. Together, we shaped the idea and made it into what Fair Tuesday is today: A global social movement with over 100 supporting organizations (fair trade, ethical and eco-friendly online and brick and mortar stores, coffee shops, cafes, coalitions, federations, foundations and media in 27 U.S. states and 9 other countries, and a shared goal of galvanizing the community and popularizing the idea that our everyday purchases can change lives in whole communities. The list of partners includes, to name a few, Somaly Mam, Sseko Sandals, Magnifeco, Lifestyle+Charity Magazine, GOOD, Fair Trade Federation and Fair Trade USA (the creators of Fair Trade Month).
In just four weeks since launch, with no budget, but with tremendous support from like-minded organizations, we were able to create social media buzz with thousands of Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures and Pinterest pins that reached a combined social media audience of over 2.5 million people… And this is just the beginning! The idea is to make the #FairTuesday community a hub for ethical shopping, continuing the conversation throughout the year and making the movement bigger and bigger.