The holidays are upon us already and the search for the perfect gifts starts now. Businesses are buzzing with tempting offers and products ready for decorative wrapping and big gold bows. Aside from the thought of whether the intended recipient will like the gift, have you ever wondered about the product itself? Where was this gift I am purchasing made? Who are the hands behind them? What is the material and how was it sourced? Who is the company selling this product and how do they treat their employees? What were conditions like where this product was crafted?
The elaborate process of gifting – from the creation and sourcing of product materials, to the hands creating the products, to the company who sells to the consumer and, finally, gifting to a recipient – is a long chain of events. Full-Cycle Gift Giving has the potential to positively and significantly impact each stage in the gifting process as well as affect the lives of those involved with the product.
To better understand the significance of Full-Cycle Gift Giving, let’s take a brief look at some disturbing and negative fashion industry practices. By shedding light behind the development of fashion products, we’ll see how our choices can directly impact and improve each element in the cycle.
Fashion Industry Transgressions
According to McKinsey & Company, fashion is a $2.5 trillion global industry. As such, the impact on the environment, goods production, supply chain, and labor are significant:
The fashion industry and production makes up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions. It is the second highest user of water worldwide. The industry contributes to 20% of the global water waste, polluting the world's waterways, rivers and streams.
There are approximately 170 million children who are working as child labour in the industry. 79 million children (nearly half of all those in child labour) work in hazardous conditions that directly endanger their health, safety and moral development.
1 in 6 people in the world work in a fashion related job, and 80 percent of the labour force throughout the supply chain are women. The majority of these women work over 60 hours per week and are paid very low wages.
These are, unfortunately, a few harsh truths about products offered by some retailers in the fashion industry. While not all businesses take part in these transgressions, the industry as a whole is at the mercy of consumer demand.
The Multiplier Effect of Full-Cycle Gift Giving
This holiday season, as you embark into the giving season, take a few moments to consider the impact of your purchases. Consider giving a gift that has a positive multiplier effect. As conscious consumers, we can challenge and make a difference in existing inequitable fashion industry practices by transforming through the power of Full-Cycle Gift Giving – the process by which gift giving makes a positive and continuous impact at every stage...
… Experience the joy of your loved ones receiving a unique and beautifully handcrafted gift;
… Provide artisan gratification from earning dignified wages and pride in selling their goods;
… Champion a child receiving the gift of education and opportunity towards self-sufficiency;
… Support small businesses that partner, empower, and reinvest in gifted artisans and their local communities;
… Purchase products and gifts from companies that maintain fair treatment and positive working conditions for their employees;
… Have peace-of-mind that your gift is made of eco-conscious materials that minimize the effects on Mother Earth.
ShopatMAP is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with the mission is to provide economic opportunity to emerging and disadvantaged female artisans while fueling community development and child poverty programs in the U.S. and around the globe.
It was founded to create economic pathways for disadvantaged female artisans and their communities and to help them towards self-sufficiency with the vision to create global equity and sustainability and to break the cycle of generational poverty.
Images courtesy of ShopatMAP
We are a marketplace that builds a bridge between socially conscious, mindful consumers and disadvantaged, emerging artisans. We are a community of mindful consumers that are aware of the inherent connection among all living beings. We believe in compassionate action and giving while taking care of our planet. We are building a sustainable equitable world for the next generation.
All of our unique and fashionable products are ethically sourced from emerging or disadvantaged, mostly female artisans including victims of domestic violence, survivors of sex trafficking, single mothers, individuals with disabilities, individuals living in extreme poverty and young entrepreneurs. According to a U.N. report, investing in girls and women helps improve their livelihoods in the long term. Moreover, studies from the World Bank show that providing basic education to girls until adulthood enables them to better manage their family’s needs, provide care for their family and send their children to school. This helps improve the lives of children and women all over the world.
ShopatMAP supports, empowers, and invests in the livelihoods and businesses of these female artisans to provide economic opportunities in their lives and in the lives of their families.
By ethically sourcing handmade products, providing dignified wages, and providing artisans and their communities holistic social programs, ShopatMAP provides a Full-Cycle economy within these communities.
By purchasing gifts from ShopatMAP, you’re taking part in #FullCycleGiftGiving. Your mindful purchase brings joy, peace and prosperity!
Live Joyfully & Purposefully,
Shop at MAP CEO/Founder
Shop at MAP, Marketing Director