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Anchal Insider: Why Anchal is Different From Other Socially Conscious Brands

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anchal insider social enterprise sustainable fashionConsumers care about buying from socially conscious brands now more than ever. A 2013 survey from a marketing agency, Good Must Grow (GMG) found that 60% of Americans care about buying products that do good in the world, up from 18% in 2012.

The most common model of socially conscious shopping is a one-for-one. Buy yourself a pair of shoes, a winter coat or a cup of coffee at Starbucks and get a second for someone who can't afford it. A win-win. Why not?

The opportunities to give are everywhere. Whether you're passionate about human rights, recycling, or education, you can give back to a cause you believe in the next time you're at the mall.  Or, you can shop with Anchal and contribute to all three of those causes, and then some,  with one purchase.

Anchal has expanded the traditional one-for one model so that you can contribute to eight different facets with the purchase of just one hand-crafted scarf, pillow or quilt.

When you shop with Anchal, you:

1. Educate a woman. Our artisans come from poor and marginalized segments of Indian society and the majority of them never finished elementary or high school.  Anchal conducts education workshops to provide our artisans with the skill-set necessary for meaningful employment. The courses are in sewing and design training, financial planning, stress management and leadership.

2. Provide a woman with a full-time job. With these aquired skills, the women in our program can work full-time as Anchal Artisans, where they receive fair and competitive wages and can support themselves and their families through safe and empowering work.

3. Put an end to the commercial sex trade. The women in our program make 30%-50% more as Anchal Artisans than they do working in the sex industry so they no longer have to rely on degrading work to survive. Our artisans have now pledged to keep their daughters away from this exploitative profession and invest in their educations, ending the perpetual cycle of the sex trade.

4. Create a healthier world. All Anchal artisans are all provided with healthcare.

5.Build a Community. Our artisans work together in a tight-knit community where they bond, relate and connect with one another. They realize that they are not alone and they have an important, meaningful role in society.

6.  Restore Confidence. The ability to create beautiful, unique products through meaningful work is empowering and restores their confidence and sense of self-worth.

7. Reduce your carbon footprint. All of Anchal's products are made out of 100% recycled materials, so production doesn't cost any energy.

8. Give a child a scholarship. Anchal Project builds a scholarship fund targeted to the most at risk children of commercial sex workers enrolled in our program.  We are supporting children in earning a quality education and affording them more opportunities for a life out of poverty.

The one-for-one model is a start, but we can do better. Conscious shopping is about maximizing our impact and bettering our world. I challenge you to take the phenomenon  one step further and not only better our world, but make it the best one that you can. 8 for 1. 9 wins. Why not?

-Tess

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