I helped start FEED Projects in 2006 as an “accidental” business. FEED’s true mission was to sell the FEED 1 bag, which feeds one child in school for one year through the United Nations World Food Programme. Once it became obvious that the UN could not sell the bag itself to raise money and awareness, my business partner, Ellen Gustafson, and I decided the best route would be to start our own company. We’ve been in business for three-and-a-half years now, and the motivation behind the creation of every product we make is to raise a tangible amount of money for every bag sold, rather than simply creating product and then giving away a percentage of profits or proceeds (which can be generous but is always a little vague).
FEED THE WORLD
The FEED model of doing business is very successful for the mission of what we set out to do, which is to “create good products that FEED the world.” It’s definitely not the normal model for a fashion label, but it’s one that’s pure in its intention to sell products for a good purpose.
FEED’s model is pure in its intention to sell products for a good purpose.
People have really responded to the transparency of our intentions, including the specificity of what is given away and to what end. To date, we have sold enough bags (along with bears and bracelets) to give over 55 million school meals to kids around the world. We’re very proud of this, even though we know there’s still so much more to be done.
PEOPLE AND PLANET
At FEED, we pride ourselves in the fact that we try to be as environmentally conscious as we can be. We use natural burlap and 100 percent organic cotton on all of our bags. Also, each of our hang tags is printed on post-consumer recycled paper.
No product is great for the planet, but some are better than others.
To be perfectly honest, no product is great for the planet, but there are definitely products and materials that are better for the environment. Those are the ones that are slowly infiltrating the mass-consumer consciousness more and more.
FASHION WITH PURPOSE
I’ve always loved fashion. Fashion is part of everyone’s everyday lives and whether they consider themselves to be fashionable or not, they’re still consumers.
Whether you consider yourself to be fashionable or not, you’re still a consumer.
I feel that if we all make everyday choices that are better for the world, we can collectively make a big difference. “Conscious consumerism” is definitely the future, as people look for more meaning behind their purchases.