J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost.” You cannot even imagine how many times I saw this written in glittery cursive or bedazzled on caps at my college graduation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful quote and Lord of the Rings is AWESOME, but that particular quote creates images of wanderlust, broke 20something year olds being able to travel while simultaneously making the world a better place.
Impossible you say? Let me tell you the story about two young women who dared to wander. Taking advantage of her twenties, Cara Boccieri worked with many refugees while living on the Thailand-Burma border, where she encountered many artisans who specialized in handmade jewelry and accessories. However, there was no marketplace to sell their crafts.
Recruiting her cousin, Lauren Baird, a stylist for Stitch Fix, the two not only quenched their thirst for travel, but also created a company where refugees can use their unique and traditional skills to become self reliant. Ways of Change provides fair wages and a marketplace that allows refugees to financially support themselves. A portion of all profits goes towards community projects made to better the lives of others.
The long term goal of Ways of Change is to support refugees so they can return to their home country or integrate into the local communities that they are already living in. Together, Cara and Lauren fuse tradition with style and design, all while changing the world for the better.
Cara is now in her early thirties and Lauren is still in her twenties. Doesn’t seem so impossible anymore, does it? Instead of giving your hard earned money to corporation giants, buy something from a humanitarian fashion brand geared towards helping others. Support a great cause that was born through wandering and fulfilling the dreams of youth. Be a conscious consumer. Buy something with a story. Let’s change the world, one outfit at a time #wearthechangeyouwishtosee.