It started with the Buffalo Exchange Thrift Shop on West 26th Street in Manhattan. I was 16 years old and wanted to take my own spin on the current fashion trends without breaking the bank. Little did I know that entering this thrift shop was the very beginning of an inspiring journey as a conscious consumer.
As I became aware of the benefits of thrift store shopping, such as reducing textile waste and supporting charities, I noticed a significant shift in my overall buying behavior. I began demanding more from the companies I was purchasing from. I began asking myself more questions.
- How does this purchase impact the planet?
- Who made this item, and were they paid fairly for their work?
- What materials were used to create this item, and were they sourced ethically?
- Does this brand align with my values, and do they support causes I care about?
Where and how we spend our money is a powerful way of voting each day, whether that’s supporting businesses who are paying their suppliers fairly, taking a stand on social issues, fostering an inclusive work environment, or implementing green practices. The buying decisions we make every day cast votes for our values.
I started spending my spare time researching brands who were making positive change through environmental and social initiatives. I became obsessed with their stories and wanted the whole world to know about them. Out of a strong desire to highlight these businesses and the inspiring humans behind them, my personal brand and blog, The Hidden Harmony, was born.
Being able to collaborate with small, local, and ethical brands to bring their stories to life is a truly rewarding experience. This passion for digital storytelling, sustainability, and purpose fuels everything I do, and it especially impacts the work I do here at KWT Global.
When working with clients, I gently push them to consider their social, economic, and environmental impact as well as help them organically connect their brand to important issues. More often than not, our clients are already connected to wonderful causes and are activating social initiatives behind the scenes. As a purpose-driven agency, we donate an additional 10% of client fees back into their programs supporting social causes.
With the rise of conscious consumerism, now more than ever is it vital for brands to recognize the importance of transparency, highlight their social initiatives, take a stand on the issues that are shaping the world as we know it, and ultimately, be a part of the change.
Natalie is an Account Executive with KWT Global and our resident social media and social “conscious” influencer. Follow her at mindfulieyours.com.