Changemaker Series: Interview with AmyAnn Cadwell, Co-Founder The Good Trade
- Kristiana Tarnuzzer
…been a huge fan of The Good Trade for several years now, upon moving to LA last year, I was so grateful to be personally introduced to AmyAnn Cadwell, Co-Founder of this brilliant platform for the ethically-minded. Have a read below on AmyAnn’s inspiration for pursuing this path, and read about causes near and dear to her heart. We’re positive you too will become quick fans of this brand, as special as the woman who created it herself.
TCB: Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind starting The Good Trade?
AC: I watched the documentary, The True Cost, for the first time during graduate school. The documentary told a compelling story of how fast fashion is depleting the earth’s resources and leveraging slave labor to pass along a “cheap” cost to the end consumer.
It was a huge wake up call for me, personally. I began focusing my graduate studies on labor issues -- finding quickly that hundreds of billions of dollars of profit are generated each year from laborers who work in unthinkable conditions to produce many of the products we eat, use and wear everyday.
Like many of my friends and family, I was deeply disturbed by the issues behind fast fashion and other industries, but did not know where to start to change my lifestyle or spending habits in an impactful way.
I became curious about my own role as a consumer to support businesses that aligned with fair trade labor practices and values for sustainability. This concern and curiosity eventually became the inspiration for starting the The Good Trade.
…Can you please share more on The Good Trade mission?
AC: In late 2014, Blake (my husband) and I launched The Good Trade as a resource for conscious consumers. We were captivated by the idea that consumers are collectively powerful and capable of driving significant social change through their purchasing power and lifestyle decisions.
Our mission is to be the premier online destination for conscious women and men -- providing meaningful content about the issues that matter for an inspired and intentional life. We cover sustainable fashion, beauty, food, wellness, travel, and lifestyle for millions of enthusiastic readers who care deeply about the brand they support.
TCB: You received your Master of Arts in Social Entrepreneurship -- is there one specific lesson or takeaway from your studies that has helped guide you along your entrepreneurial journey?
AC: During my studies in Social Entrepreneurship, I was exposed to a way of thinking that asked more of businesses then merely existing to maximize shareholder value. I learned of incredible companies and organizations working to better both people and the planet and I felt compelled to tell their stories.
…Were there any volunteer opportunities you participated in that you feel have had a particular effect on you and/or The Good Trade?
AC: Through my undergraduate and graduate work, I volunteered in the developing world where I witnessed the power of entrepreneurship, microfinance and artisanship to elevate entire communities out of poverty. Many of the brands we feature on The Good Trade offer dignified wages and holistic social programs to provide a path out of poverty for their artisan partners.
TCB: Tell us a cause near and dear to your heart.
AC: The Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles is the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness. The Good Trade is honored to be a partner of the organization in their fight to end homelessness in our city.
TCB: What can we look forward to from The Good Trade in 2019?
AC: We are excited to continue serving, nurturing and inspiring our readers with meaningful content and opportunities to build community online (and off-line -- stay tuned!).
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