Receiving a generic thank-you gift for donating to a cause you really believe in often seems like an unexpected afterthought. After all, the purpose of donating is to support others in need, not to get an automatic subscription to a glossy monthly newsletter that too quickly ends up in the recycling bin. The “Ready to Care Shopping Destination” boutique Able Made has inverted this donation process by instead beginning with quality products sold for the sole purpose of improving the lives of those in need and the world that we all share.
Instead of creating a big business centered around pocketing profits, Able Made is focused on humanitarian ethics. From jewelry, to clothing, to housewares, each product comes with a description that clearly outlines not only its origins but also the exact cause that it was created for. Some of the company’s current projects and appropriately designed products include a key bracelet to support job transitions for the homeless, a water bottle for clean water in Nicaragua, and a tote bag to fund education for children in developing countries.
The site also features videos from each of the designers, revealing their passion for the project along with the scope and process of each design. Because Able Made designs products specifically and exclusively for social and environmental change – not simply reselling other’s products and cutting a commission – each project’s goal and impact is held close from conception to delivery to your mailbox, illustrating that the company is as serious about accountability as they are about progress.
To create the products, Able Made Founder and CEO Suzanne McKenzie collaborates with big brands and emerging designers alike – anyone who has demonstrated quality products and is invigorated by social and environmental change. But before McKenzie agrees to any collaborations, she requires extensive research on the company – where do they source their materials from? What are manufacturing conditions like? And of course, what effort has the company put into giving back?
It seems that consciousness is finally emerging from the dust of commerce as designers and companys like Able Made are beginning to reconnect with their foundational support: the manual laborers and the materials they source. McKenzie stated that it is both the designer’s and the consumer’s job to start caring about and actively choosing what businesses they support through their purchases. A shifting market towards ethical social and environmental practices puts greater pressure on businesses to start stepping up their standards instead of stepping on their workers, the environment, and the oblivious customer. An educated consumer is the enemy to commercial negligence; by supporting businesses that care about the whole world and not just their narrow audience filtered down to a bottom line, we send the message that the impact of their products runs much deeper than our pockets.