Welcome to Conscious Commerce – an experiment in living (and shopping) with a conscience.
Know what’s not fun? FUNdraising. This is a tragic misnomer.
Whoever thought of this word has never begged donors for money, regardless of how worthy the cause. We spent years in the non-profit world trying to scrape together funds for incredible causes, and have the battle scars and deflated dreams to show for it.
We thought it was high time to create an alternative form of raising cash for good, and why not tap into the dollars already being spent by the billions every single day?
We will select the purposeful products that we think you’d buy anyway (this is not your source for recycled gum tampons) and organize them for your perusing pleasure.
We’ll also introduce you to people we think are doing a pretty great job at life.
Along with pointing you in the direction of cool, ethically sound businesses, we have paired some of our favorite brands with small, locally run organizations, to create limited edition products. These exciting collaborations are our way of bringing together consciousness and commerce, and making them make sweet, sweet love.
This is our attempt to be useful humans, and we’d like to share what we’ve learned so far. It can seem impossible to eat, shop, travel, or bathe without somehow destroying Earth and most of its inhabitants. Maybe if we all take small steps in the right direction, we can at least avoid being the assholes ensuring total world annihilation.
Spend some time with us, and, if you’re so inclined, spend some money that will go to good people doing good things.
Thank you for not being an asshole.
Who Do We Think We Are?
Olivia Wilde is an actress but would probably rather you think of her as a mystical shape-shifter. She recently made a decision to stop making bad movies, and so works much, much less now, but at least it’s all good stuff. She directed a short and swears she is working on the next one. She also fancies herself a wannabe activist, and tries her best to be a useful human. She is on the board of Artists for Peace and Justice, a locally run educational organization serving the poorest neighborhoods in Haiti. She spent time last year in Kenya to host a part of Nicholas Kristof’s PBS documentary, Half the Sky, based on his Pulitzer prize winning book of the same name. She recently fell in love with West Africa while working in Senegal with Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Development Project. Her big sister, Chloe, is a badass lawyer working for the ACLU in the racial justice project, and Olivia does everything she can to support their crucial work.
Olivia thinks Babs rocks hard, and is fiercely proud to found Conscious Commerce with her.
Barbara “Babs” Burchfield is a creative director and storyteller, who dove into philanthropy in 2008 on a trip with Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis’ organization Artists for Peace and Justice. Trip after trip, Babs and Olivia (and their brother Bryn of Ryot.org) would dream of alternative ways of raising funds (and fun) for the local, on the ground organizations they’d met. It was there where the idea for Conscious Commerce was born. Babs set out to create projects that put a little rock n’ roll into “charity”.
Serving as the Creative Director for the Riot House, she and Ryan Gall co-created the Global Citizen Festival, an annual festival in Central Park, where 60,000 fans take actions to support non-profits in order to earn a ticket to see their favorite artists and bands like, Foo Fighters, Black Keys, & Kings of Leon. Babs also serves as an Advisory Board Member of Ryot News and is a Design Advisor for Summit Eden, helping guide the brand and aesthetics of the company. Babs believes in sustainable and scalable change, while whole-heartedly supporting her trusted circle who continue to pave greatness for the planet.
Babs and Olivia co-conceived Conscious Commerce three years ago after many extended aid trips to earthquake ravaged Haiti. Galvanized by the desire to make a difference and seeing the short-term-only affect of traditional fundraising they resolved to create a new model. The Conscious Commerce mission is to create a guide for conscious living by promoting the causes, brands, people and lifestyles that are forging a new paragon of living.