Today, we’re more savvy and thoughtful in our purchasing decisions – as we should be. By requiring manufacturers to reveal their production process, we can help change lives.
The need for transparency was starkly brought to my attention in the 1990s. I was living in Southeast Asia, where I was surrounded by artisanal beauty everywhere I looked. Hand-crafted, stunning items and interesting artisans filled my days. But amid all this beauty lay a heartbreaking reality. I was exposed to the horrors of human trafficking, realizing how susceptible artisan communities were – and still are – to falling prey to this terrible industry. I recognized firsthand how a lack of knowledge of consumption creates a cycle of harmful consequences. Unbeknownst to many of us, we purchase products that support inhumane working conditions. This is a painful truth.
When I launched WE’VE earlier this Fall, I set out to tell the creation stories of products, thereby sharing the making process step-by-step. WE’VE connects artisans, designers and buyers through a collaborative design and purchasing experience. Intertwining thoughtful purchasing with production transparency and technology, WE’VE creates a collaborative community that goes beyond traditional online and offline retail. The groundbreaking initiative shows – not just tells – the “who” and “what” is behind each product. Taking a behind-the-scenes perspective, we equip our artisans with digital cameras and the skillsets to document their innovative techniques with buyers in real time. By inviting customers to be part of the making process, we can foster deeper connections between buyers and creators.
The transparency of WE’VE’s e-commerce community transforms the way that buyers, artisans, and designers perceive and interact with each other, revolutionizing our relationship to the creation process. As beautiful relationships evolve, the support for social change strengthens. To become a part of the community as an artisan, join us here.
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