For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Made By Survivors

The wonderful company I am going to tell you about today is called Made by Survivors. I did a case study about this venture in college and I think it was the first time I really understood the implications of social entrepreneurship, the complexity of helping, and the entrepreneurial strategy behind it all. So I kind of consider this company the spark that inspired me to create this whole blog and I hope this post does it justice.

Made by Survivors sells beautiful jewelry that is made by women who have been rescued from human trafficking in Nepal, India, Thailand, and Cambodia. The US Department of State defines human trafficking as “activities involved when someone obtains or holds a person in compelled service”. Those who suffer from human trafficking can be subject to: forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, and child soldiers.

Made By Survivors

In the beginning stages of this company, the founders realized that rescuing these women simply wasn’t enough. This is because often times the rescued women had nowhere to go or means of an income after their rescue and eventually would be forced back into what becomes the vicious circle of human trafficking. Therefore, Made by Survivors came up with a business strategy to empower the women that had been rescued to insure that they do not end up back on the trafficking circuit.  They offer the women classes in jewelry design and entrepreneurship in order for these women to become financially educated and stable. The women use these skills to create all the jewelry that is sold.

BraceletThis is a Made by Survivors bracelet I got about four years ago and I wouldn’t be surprised if it lasted many more years. Unfortunately, this bracelet is no longer offered, but I have picked out a few necklaces to show you that I have had my eye on.

Necklaces

The first one is a sort of toned down statement necklace, not quite as big of a statement as perhaps a big, chunky J.Crew piece, but the bright colors do make it stand out. I like to think of it as a picture of a setting sun on top of a mountain. Does anyone else see that too? This next necklace (pictured on Sarah Hyland from Modern Family!!!!!!!! and on the far right) is more simple, versatile, and conveniently more expensive. It costs $90 and the previous one is about half that cost. They also have a variety of jewelry for men/unisex like the one pictured below, which costs $80.

Necklace 2

I will leave you with the words of the co-founder/president of Made by Survivor, Sarah Symons: “To be honest, my first instinct was to avoid the pain by turning away from the problem.  “What can I do about it?,” I thought.  Like many people, I was paralyzed by the enormity of the problem.” And look at all that she has accomplished! I feel like a lot of people will be able to relate to these words. The moral of this story is that even though some problems seem intimidatingly too big to handle, you can still find ways to help. All of the jewelry can be bought at: http://www.madebysurvivors.com.


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Chocolately Responsible

Welcome to my first blog post!

First of all I will let you know that I probably love candy more than the next person. I have an abnormally massive sweet tooth. I could eat candy all day errrryyyday and I’m sure there have been days where I have. But of all the candies in the world, chocolate is usually my sweet treat of choice.

Sadly, there are some major problems with the chocolate industry, which include forced labor, human trafficking, and child slavery. If you would like to learn a little more you can watch a documentary called The Dark Side of Chocolate that came out in 2010. More recently there has been a social movement towards fair trade certified chocolate, which ensure that the chocolate is produced in an ethical manner. And that is precisely what Madécasse (pronounced MAH-DAY-KAS) does.

Madécasse is Fair for Life certified, but what makes it different from other fair trade companies is the fact that Madécasse grows AND manufactures their chocolate in Madagascar. Over 50% of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa, yet roughly 1% of the world’s chocolate is made there.  Madécasse aims to change that and strengthen the economy in Madagascar by:

  • Creating well-paying jobs and market stability
  • Cutting the supply chain to decrease costs and increase farmers income
  • Training farmers and production technicians skills to increase quality and value of products

The founders claim that by keeping all of the production within Madagascar, their products create 4 times the economic impact than other fair trade chocolate producers.

Great stuff, right?!? Now let’s get to the fun part, how does the chocolate taste? I tried the Toasted Coconut on a whim. I’m normally not a huge fan of coconut (unless it is on my Caramel Delight Girl Scout cookies) and I must say I was pleasantly surprised! The bitter dark chocolate and the sweet coconut really create a great combination.

I’ve seen this chocolate at my local Hannaford and Shaws, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were sold at other grocery stores. The chocolate is a little pricey at around $6 per bar, but definitely worth it for the occasional treat or possibly a gift. If you can’t seem to find them in store or find a flavor you like, you can order the chocolate from their website. There are a bunch of cool flavors! To me the Citrus and Winter Spice both sound amazing and I hope to try them soon! What chocolates sound good to you?

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