Thursday, March 8, 2018, is International Women’s Day and we at CUR8 couldn’t be more excited to celebrate all the amazing women designers, makers, and social impact leaders in our global community.
Progress for Women is Progress for All
This day, first celebrated in 1909, is about promoting equal rights for women all over the world. Turns out that fighting for gender parity isn’t just the ethical thing to do, it’s undeniably the reasonable thing to do. The USAID organization reports that, “providing women with opportunities to better their health, education, and well-being have effects far beyond a single individual. A woman multiplies the impact of an investment made in her future by extending benefits to the world around her, creating a better life for her family, and building a strong community.”
No fake news here as the data tells a clear and compelling story. In developing countries, when 10% more girls go to school, GDP increases by 3%. Not only does staying in school longer result in women marrying later and having fewer children, but for every additional year in school child mortality decreases by more than 9%. When women own the same amount of land as men, there is over a 10% increase in crop yields. Even in developed countries like the United States, closing the gender pay gap would result in cutting the poverty rate for working women and their children by more than 50% and would increase GDP by 2.8%. We could go on but suffice it to say that investing in women is good for everyone everywhere.
Celebrating Design Innovators
We at CUR8 are honored to be working with some truly inspiring women, design innovators harnessing the power of technology and material science to make the world a healthier place. Lori Slater, co-founder of In2Green, creates fabulous throws and accessories made from recycled materials. From cotton t-shirts to plastic bottles, In2Green’s recycling efforts reduce landfill, conserve natural resources, and provide green jobs right here in the U.S.A. It’s no wonder they won the Icon Honor Award for Innovation in 2016.
Meet Vanessa Yuan, co-founder of Belgium-based Ecobirdy. She is also tackling the growing problem of plastic waste in the recycling of children’s toys. Did you know that over 90% of toys are made of plastic and only have an average lifespan of 6 months? Ecobirdy transforms these discarded toys into playful, well designed children’s furniture – from kids, for kids. Ecobirdy has also launched a school program to introduce youngsters to the circular economy and inspire them to contribute to a more sustainable future.
We’re also excited to spotlight our partners bringing alternative, biodegradable materials to market that eliminate the need for recycling all together. Danielle Trophe taps into a unique material science, mushroom mycelium, to grow (not manufacture) her beautiful lighting and planter collections.
Dr. Carmen Hijosa developed Pinatex, a leather alternative made from discarded pineapple leaves. This natural, sustainable, cruelty-free material is being used in fashion, home furnishings, and automotive interiors and will be featured in our new line of pillows and ottomans launching next month.
Celebrating Social Impact Entrepreneurs
It’s not just our product design partners making an impact. We have the pleasure of working with some phenomenal entrepreneurs changing the way business is done to benefit women at risk. CUR8 gives a big shout out to Open Arms, Ahadi Collective, and Gaia – three Texas-based organizations employing and empowering refugee women in their communities. Be on the lookout for some amazing new CUR8 collaborations with these groups debuting in April.
Take a look at this month’s spotlight feature on two African-based women’s cooperatives, Reform Studio and Quazi Design. These amazing women craft beautiful products made from recycled materials and are empowered through skill-sharing and living wages.
Pressing for Progress
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #PressforProgress, calling for collective action and shared ownership in our drive for gender parity. It’s a time to not only celebrate our sheroes but to be bold, empower those around us, and drive positive change. Join us at CUR8 in this pursuit on Thursday, March 8, and every day thereafter. Together we can make the world a better place for all the phenomenal women and girls in our lives.