TODAY'S GREEN MANTRA: If you're going to start a business, make sure she's a good one and a green one

Day 45 / 365

I really believe that it is possible for any venture into business to be created with the planet and her inhabitants in mind, which is one of many reasons I'm proud to announce that i've joined Hannah of Life + Style + Justice's venture into the world of eco + ethical fashion production for a cause.

Myself and five other bloggers from the Ethical Blogger's NetworkDanielleJacqui, Ashlee, Cassandra, and Christy, have united with Hannah to design two items each for an upcoming collection of t-shirts, tote bags and banners. 

This will be the first EBN-sponsored development project, and despite it being a quite thoughtful slow fashion venture, it's been a very fast moving loved up machine from conception to its current state of near fruition. 

The collective will be called A Beautiful Refuge, which is an extension of Safe Refuge, a resource center for women and children in crisis. It is based in the Philippines where pervasive poverty and high unemployment leaves children and young women particularly vulnerable to trafficking, malnutrition, and homelessness. In Manila, there are an estimated 100,000 sex-trafficked children alone.

For the past nine years, Safe Refuge has provided quality maternal care and childbirth services, educational opportunities and scholarships, emergency shelter, and supportive housing and aftercare for women and children in vulnerable positions due to trafficking, abuse, and lack of economic opportunity. 

While the majority of women associated with Safe Refuge go back to school, enrol in college, or find employment, a handful of individuals experience greater difficulty finding good work due to their unique physical and mental needs.

These are the women A Beautiful Refuge exists to serve. 

In the next few weeks myself and the rest of the bloggers will be sharing sneak peaks of the design process and the first run of eco + ethical tees, totes, pillows, and banners we worked as a team to design.

On top of being ethical, the entire collection is eco friendly. Each item will be made with GOTS certified, 100% organic fabric produced by suppliers who have sustainable farming and production processes, meaning there is no use of chemicals, hormones or preservatives which damage the earth and are harmful to people, plants and animals. Each item will be printed with water-based inks rather than pastisol inks and all the waste water from production will be filtered so it can be recycled.

The ethically made and environmentally friendly textiles from Freeset in India will then be sent to Cambodia where they will be sewn by the team at Fairsew. Hannah chose these wonderful companies to ensure that the entire supply chain will be transparent and that each worker who the products pass through will be paid fairly, including the women at women at Safe Refuge (who will be screen printing the products and their surrounding community in Manila and Tagaytay).

You can read more about the project, view our financials and business plan (transparency is so important when it comes to eco + ethical businesses like this, we want you to know where every dollar is going!), and donate through Crowd Rise HERE

I'm hoping to raise at least $500 for my part in the project, so any donations big or small are most welcome and very much appreciated. If you click through to the website you can see how much each item needed for production will cost, for example: $15 buys a frame for screen making and $3,000 buys a drying oven. No matter what amount you're able to give, you're making a huge impact on the lives of others.

Our first round of designs will be completed soon and we'd love your feedback - I'll be updating with blog posts as we go along or you can sign up on the A Beautiful Refuge site for  sneak peeks along the way!