The sustainable commerce event - Lightfoot Market was located in the heart of DUMBO, overlooking New York City's East River and Financial District skyline. It bookended the Fashion Revolution week which began on the 24th April marking the fourth anniversary of the Rana Plaza Collapse in Bangladesh, where 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured while making clothing for western companies. It’s hard to forget the gruesome Rana Plaza tragedy and all the more reason for us to shop responsibly, especially when what’s at stake is human lives! Manufacturing and production of any kind cannot be at the cost of human lives. Shopping responsibly, only buying from businesses that care about social, economic and environmental sustainability, is a habit that can easily be inculcated in our lives. We can simply start with buying less and choosing well at places such as the Light Foot Market.
For Global Shokunin, it was our first customer outreach event and we were excited to showcase our products to responsible customers such as you! It seemed apropos that our first appearance was at a sustainable commerce event with other highly vetted vendors. We were inspired by the good company and encouraged by the positive feedback. We also learned a great deal about our product mix from the customer's point of view and now have a better understanding of our next steps in order to make our dream at Global Shokunin of sustainable livelihoods, zero-waste, women empowerment a success. We met so many creative and courageous small business owners who share our beliefs of bringing about positive change in the world while doing what they love. It was gratifying to interact with people that share our passion for our planet and its people, like us, while each one applying a different strategy to reach their dream. The event was a heartwarming exchange of ideas, contacts, stories, and smiles.
What we loved most about then Lightfoot Market was interacting with our customers in person. Throughout the event we took the opportunity to share the stories behind our products and our mission of promoting entrepreneurship and empowerment within artisan communities by connecting them to global consumers, fostering appreciation of cultural diversity and sustainable consumption. Our founding team of five women have personal ties to immigrant communities around the world and have come together with one big aspiration “to create positive change by doing good - at scale”. It is through this lens that we hope to impart our customers with greater awareness of the value of preserving and cherishing artisanal techniques rooted in our global cultural heritage.
The creativity exhibited at the event both in innovative business models, manufacturing techniques and product curation was exhilarating; there were beautiful products made from scraps of fabrics Ethel, recycled plastic NunoWrap and upcycled plastic Malaika, our elephant poop diaries (yes, made from elephant poop), and companies that are simply build to support orphan education AjiriTea and human trafficking survivors White Field Farm. The ideas employed to create these businesses are a testament to the ingenuity of humans and demonstrate that today we are in a strong position to create a more sustainable and equitable world. All we need is to make a commitment to this change and we can start today by buying less and choosing well. Start your journey by reviewing the products on www.globalshokunin.com or any of the vendors at the Lightfoot Market and you too can be a changemaker!