The things you dream up on the road
Welcome to The Shop for Change blog, where we will keep you up-to-date with our developments, introduce our world of sellers and even delight your curious minds with notable musings from the growing realm of social enterprise and ethical shopping. To begin, here’s the story of how The Shop for Change was born…
“On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not”.
A line from the great Indian poet, Tagore.
It was in the heart of India – a place where incredible art and beauty exists alongside unbearable poverty – that our idea of The Shop for Change bloomed. In fact, we had found something that had always been there, just waiting to be discovered…
After spending years travelling the globe, working and volunteering in various developing countries, we came to realise that there are literally millions of people barely putting food on their plates, yet creating some of the most beautiful products on the global market.
Combining our knowledge gained abroad, with our expertise in big business Australia, we launched online marketplace www.theshopforchange.com.
So what is The Shop for Change?
Think of it like online shopping hubs such as eBay or Etsy, but instead of buying from your usual sellers, The Shop for Change allows buyers access to some of the world’s finest (and poorest) craftsmen and women. Buying from each seller means contributing to important social impacts, such as ‘access to education’, and ‘child & maternal health’.
“Our dream became to create an online marketplace designed to fight poverty by allowing disadvantaged sellers (those struggling to access basic human rights) to easily set up and manage their own online shops, and directly access buyers around the world,”
– Alison, co-founder.
With an agenda for social change, The Shop is designed to empower disadvantaged sellers with the tools to sell online and develop their businesses. Unlike many charity-based scenarios, sellers have a sustainable means to earn a living and a chance to break the cycle of poverty. Charging only five per cent commission on sales, The Shop returns the majority of profits to sellers, enabling a maximum social impact.
“We have just started to see the first affordable smart phones hitting places like Africa and India, putting access to digital media, education and online markets at the fingertips of the world’s poor. Organisations such as World Vision, have been helping people with product development and internet training for years, but are not distributors. This is where The Shop for Change steps in,” – George, co-founder.
Socially conscious buyers come to the site because they know that when they purchase a product they make a social impact such as increasing access to education, child and maternal health, women’s empowerment or reducing poverty and hunger. The social impacts on The Shop for Change are inspired by the United Nations Development Goals, and buyers are enabled to find products that contribute to the change they most want to see in the world.
With shoppers becoming focused more than ever on transparency, ethical integrity and social accountability, The Shop for Change offers a positive alternative to the usual gifts we tend to give, as they say, they are ‘gifts that give twice’.
So again, welcome to The Shop for Change blog, If you haven’t already, why not go for a wander: www.theshopforchange.com