People often ask what inspires me, and lately, I am thrilled to see fantastic women entrepreneurs who are making products in a way that contributes to making the world a better place (especially for women and girls!) Here are a few notables:
Thinx. Started by three women, Miki Agrawal and Radha Agrawal, Thinx makes discreet underwear that conceals an innovative core of high-tech fabric layers designed for absorption, reducing the significant environmental impact of tampons, pads and incontinence products. Even better, for every pair you purchase, Thinx funds the purchase of seven reusable cloth menstrual pads for girls in the developing world, which helps those girls stay in school and hold jobs, as well as providing local jobs for women making the pads.
Naja. Founded by Catalina Girard, a company that creates stylish underwear with a cause — empowering and employing single mothers in partnership with the Golondrinas Foundation in Colombia, who make lingerie bags as part of Naja’s Underwear for Hope program.
The Empowerment Plan. Founded by Veronika Scott, who was only 20 years old when she started the Detroit-based nonprofit, this inspiring group makes a life-saving device — a coat that converts into a sleeping bag — and distributes the coats for free to the homeless people of their city. They also employ those same people to sew and distribute the coats, creating paths for people to work and develop financial independence.
Each time I hear about one of these initiatives, my faith in humanity is restored a little bit. In a year with a lot of political turmoil and heartbreaking news stories, it’s inspiring to see people finding new ways to help improve things for women and girls. These companies make products for more than just the bottom line, they make the world a better place. As the Nike Foundation says in describing what they call the “Girl Effect”, addressing the problems that challenge women and girls worldwide will help transform the world in areas of poverty, disease, and world peace. Those are ideas I can get behind.
In this holiday season, tell me what products and services inspire you? I'd love to know!
Image by Ti Chang