So I want to share what I took from my little jaunt to New York (besides the fact that it is an awesome city with genuine, kind people). It was a whirlwind trip and I can only describe it as a surreal ‘how did I get here?’ moment. I still don’t know how I was singled out and invited by the Clinton Global Initiative but I’ll tell you this – my biggest desire and dream for my life was highlighted at a talk I went to so I felt my heart almost burst when I made that connection.
First I’ll tell you this – I once had a vivid dream that I was in Africa and there were troughs full of nuts with people processing them. At first I just thought it was wacky, random visual but then I starting piecing it together – those were shea nuts and we were making shea butter. In my mind, I’ve always believed that I got a quick vision of my future.
The talk that I was invited to was called “Linking Human and Natural Capital: Market Solutions for Sustainability”. One of the speakers was Jill Dumain, from the clothing company Patagonia – remarkable what they do as a company sourcing sustainable fabrics around the world. The other was Olivier Behra, CEO of Man and Nature, a non-profit organization that connects private companies (mostly beauty industry) with sustainable, ecological ingredients. Not only is this about conservation of natural resources and biodiversity but it is also about helping communities make a living off of their land – FAIR TRADE. They bridge the gap between the beauty companies and the people producing botanical ingredients. Also, if Man and Nature sees an opportunity in an area, they will teach the community how to harvest and process it and then find buyers. YES!!! This is such an incredible idea to me because many small business like Cocoon aren’t big enough to be flying in to various countries and checking out suppliers (although, obviously I will one day be going to Africa;). The fact that the beauty industry is shifting from petrochemicals to natural ingredients opens up a new world of biodiversity and conservation on this planet and I couldn’t be more happy to be part of this global movement. You are part of it too – every time you purchase from plant-based, ethical companies.
Other things I took from this meeting –
* I watched Bill speak and he is the man. His entire existence is about making the world a better place in a strategic manner that is working!!!
* As a planet, there is hope. When you are in a room full of the biggest companies in the world committing to the environmental and humanitarian efforts, you can’t help but feel a sense of optimism.
* As investors, we are creating the demand for ethical commerce. This is seriously huge. If you don’t like the way things are – don’t invest in it. Look for ethical funds – they are out there!