Pursuits of Purpose: AmyAnn Cadwell

the good trade

An Interview with The Good Trade's Founder, AmyAnn Cadwell

Pursuits of Purpose is a series where we feature interviews with people who are on the front lines of creating social value and leading a generation toward a new way of living, acting, and thinking.

When we first discovered The Good Trade after being included as one of their top 35 companies betting against fast fashion, we knew we had stumbled upon something very special. It all started thanks to AmyAnn Cadwell, the woman that took it upon herself to empower people to live a more conscious lifestyle through highly curated content. The incredible team over at The Good Trade is cultivating a culture of good through mindful consumerism, and AmyAnn is an inspiration to those who want to integrate more mindful practices into their life, but aren't sure where or how start. We're excited for you to meet and learn more about AmyAnn in her interview below!

The Good Trade is an amazing platform for all things ethically-minded. What inspired you to start The Good Trade?

Thank you so much for your kind words! The Good Trade started as an online publication focused on telling the stories of brands committed to social good. Consumers say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies committed to positive social and environmental impact, yet most socially-minded consumers report that they do not know which brands are socially responsible or how to find them.

The driving force behind our work with The Good Trade is to start a meaningful conversation. We want to be a gathering place for millions of conscious consumers around the globe who are not afraid to use their voice and their wallet to question the way things are and seek a better way.

What inspired you to first begin to consider where your products come from?

Watching the documentary The True Cost was a wake-up call. The documentary shines a light on how fast fashion is depleting the earth’s resources and leveraging slave labor to pass on a “cheap” cost to the end consumer. And the fashion industry is not alone in its exploitation and environmental injustices. After further research, I learned that over $150 billion dollars of profit are generated each year from forced laborers who produce the products we eat, use and wear everyday.

What advice do you have for someone looking to start a more conscious lifestyle?

I am a believer in small steps, in asking more questions, and in raising one’s voice. We cannot underestimate the collective power of our purchasing habits to force brands to become increasingly transparent about their production practices.

There is much evidence that this is already happening. A recent study from Cone found that 9 out of 10 consumers say they expect companies to address social and environmental issues and 90% would boycott a company if they learned of irresponsible or deceptive business practices.

In your experience, what are some of the benefits of choosing ethically made products?

Supporting companies and lifestyle decisions that align with our own personal values allows us to put into action some of our most important beliefs. Acknowledging the effect our actions and our purchase decisions have on the world around us will ultimately lead to better communities and a safer, more sustainable world.

How do you integrate the mindful approach you have towards consumer goods into your everyday life?

These are the guidelines that help me stay mindful:
Buy less
Buy for quality
Research everything

For me, ethical consumption is not only about buying more conscious products, but also about buying fewer things in general and making each purchase really count in terms of quality, ethics and durability.

The number of brands blending business and purpose is growing, giving consumers more options than ever before. What do you look for when trying to support responsible brands?

Above all, transparency. I look for companies that share their corporate values publicly and back those values with transparent reporting. I want to know about their carbon footprint, the sourcing of their materials, where their design and manufacturing takes place, their C-suite compensation, tax rate and commitments to gender equality and diversity. I search for brands that not only do good – but are good.

Lastly, what is your favorite Krochet Kids intl. product?
Yay, what a wonderful question! We’ve been longtime fans of Krochet Kids intl. for your commitment to your community of female artisans around the world. My all-time favorite would have to be the classic beanie. Every time I see it, I am reminded of the brand’s beginnings with a simple line of crocheted goods, and how something so simple can lead to powerful impact by upending cycles of poverty in some of the world’s most vulnerable places. Give a woman just a seed of an opportunity and watch what will bloom from her stewardship. These are the stories I most love to tell on The Good Trade.

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