Bangladesh Artisans

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Maybe you can’t travel to Kenya and plant 20 trees tomorrow, but what if your socks could?

Sound far-fetched? Maybe not. Ten Thousand Villages recently partnered with Conscious Step, a social enterprise in New York that makes fair trade socks with a manufacturer in New Delhi. The company’s “Socks for a Cause” campaign matches a sock design with a non-profit organization to make the world a better place.

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For instance, a portion of the proceeds from each pair of these Conscious Step Socks for Trees funds the planting of 20 trees in Kenya with the help of its impact partner, Trees for the Future. Or buy a pair of Conscious Step Socks that Fight Hunger this year to provide six therapeutic food packs to malnourished children through Action Against Hunger. Meanwhile, the Socks that Give Clean Water provide 18 months of clean water in partnership with Water.org.
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“We’re so excited to partner with Conscious Step in Canada,” says Holly deGraaf, Director, Retail Operations & Public Relations and Interim General Manager. “With our combined commitment to social causes and fair trade by supporting farmers, makers and their families, we’re a great fit and will make a difference together.”

Each sock is made from quality (168 needle) organic cotton in fair trade conditions. Conscious Step chose to manufacture in India for the logistical advantage: India grows 80 per cent of the world’s organic cotton. The company also wanted to help support small and marginalized cotton farmers in the area.

What’s more, the socks are made using a non-toxic dyeing process, making them more durable and odor resistant as well as lessening harm to the environment. With fashion being the second leading cause of pollution around the world, the socks are a lesson in eco-friendly shopping too.

To ensure that the manufacturing plant and spinning mill adhere to fair trade conditions – offering fair wages to adult staff and refusing to exploit child labour – the Conscious Step founders periodically visit them in person. The most recent trip was in January 2016.

Hassan Ahmad, one of the Conscious Step founders, was interviewed by Start Up Daily a few years ago and said he was convinced that conscious consumerism and social businesses can play a part in addressing the world’s most pressing problems. Charities are not always sustainable long-term.

“When we can envision the impact we’re making – for instance, knowing that my sock drawer planted a forest in Ghana – it is more motivating than donating $5 to a charity and having no idea how it will be used or what difference it will make,” he said at the time.

Everybody needs socks though. So why not put them to work and make positive change?

Discover our complete range of new Conscious Step Socks now.

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