It’s time to demand to see the faces behind the products we buy, so we can ensure their safety and well-being. By sharing the origins of our products, we as a community can empathize with human beings around the world and use our purchasing decisions to encourage sustainable and ethical practices in new responsible fashion industry.
Social enterprises are companies that apply commercial strategies to the improvement of the financial, social, or environmental wellbeing of specific communities around the world, so that they can support their local economies in a fair and responsible way.
What does the term “social enterprise” mean?
Social enterprises are businesses that are committed to make the world a better place. Like traditional companies, their goal is still to generate profits, but they are different in the way they redistribute them, which means that they do not generate and maximize profits for the benefit of shareholders, but rather invest them or give them back to create positive social change. Like traditional companies, their goal is still to generate profits, but they are different in the way they redistribute them, which means that they do not generate and maximize profits for the benefit of shareholders, but rather invest them or give them back to create positive social change.
Indeed, they generate opportunities and jobs for the most marginalized populations, bringing change to the communities in which they operate and fulfilling commitments to sustainable development. When the company makes a profit, the community benefits.
How do these social enterprises work?
First, social enterprises choose a social issue that is facing a particular region. This can be a small community, a city, or an entire country. Once this social problem is identified, social enterprises look for the roots of the problem. This can be done through market research. A community needs assessment, survey reports, field analysis, and observation methods.
After determining the causes, these social enterprises try to link them to current societal patterns and trends. In this way, they can find ideas that can help them solve the societal problem they have identified. These strategies must ensure a change in society’s behavior and lifestyle to address the problem at hand.
3 social enterprises that you can find Chez Sanna:
In Spanish, Mama Tierra means “Mother Earth”. It is mainly the native woman who inspires them: she ensures the well-being of the family, guarantees income, educates the children and fights for the preservation of the environment by transmitting her heritage. By selling ethnic art, Mama Tierra supports the financial independence of Native American women.
MAMA TIERRA is a Swiss NPO, which since 2014 has been working hand in hand with the Native American Wayuu people in the desert of La Guajira, which lies between Colombia and Venezuela in the northernmost part of South America. It provides them with solar energy, nutritional programs, and fair trade for their crafts.
This year has been difficult due to COVID-19, which has intensified the food shortage. The organization did its best to bring in food, create stable jobs, and secure the future of the next generation.
Since 2007, Indego Africa has been promoting the creation, growth, and sustainability of women-owned businesses in Africa by providing artisans with a global market for their handmade products and investing in their training. From local raw materials to finished artisanal products, Indego Africa supports the integrity of artisanal products and creates opportunities for the women who make them.
The company partners with artisan groups in Rwanda and Ghana to create a range of handcrafted products that bring beauty to the world through modern design, time-honored techniques, and true artisanal skills.
They believe that education is the key to long-term self-reliance and social change. That’s why they provide women and young artisans with the training they need to create and sustain independent livelihoods. Their artisan partners have big dreams and big plans. They invest 100% of their profits in their training because they believe in their ability to meet (and exceed) their goals. They trust them with the innovative designs, professional training, and market opportunities they need to jump-start their careers and grow their own businesses. It is through the transparent, long-term relationships they build with their artisan partners that they are able to provide beautiful, conscientiously crafted products to customers around the world.
In addition, they pay their artisan partners fair and regular wages for their work. On average, their partners earn 40% of the wholesale price of their items, compared to 5-10% in traditional retail.
Soko was founded in 2012. The company was born out of a love of design, a combination of global perspectives, the desire to connect and empower entrepreneurs via the use of the technology around us, and a belief that women can change the world.
It is an ethical, women-led, artisanal jewelry brand using innovations in technology to connect global consumers to evolving microeconomies in Kenya. As a B-Corp, they believe in using business as a force for good to balance profit with purpose. The company’s founders sought to provide an economic solution to Kenya’s impoverished communities while preserving a unique cultural trade, so they created a virtual factory byway of a mobile app, which connects independent artisan entrepreneurs directly to the SOKO team and global customers, allowing artisans to receive orders and payment. Artisans working with SOKO earn nearly 5x more than average artisan workshops. Each piece is a work of art!