Alt Summit, a conference for creative entrepreneurs and stylish social media influencers, is a favorite of our founder Jane Mosbacher Morris. In 2015, Jane attended Alt and connected with Macy’s, a meeting that lead to Jane’s first TO THE MARKET trunk show at the flagship Macy’s store in NYC’s Herald Square. That show was a turning point in the early days of the business and Jane has held Alt and Macy’s close to her heart ever since. It was only natural that Alt Summit should be a stop on the “Buy the Change” book tour!
During this year’s Alt Summit in Palm Springs, Jane had the opportunity to be a keynote speak. As part of her presentation, Jane highlighted many of the themes from her book “Buy the Change,” reinforcing for Alt attendees the idea that you can align your purchasing decisions with your values and have great impact as a consumer! She left the audience with five key takeaways:
1. EVERY BUDGET MATTERS
It’s time that we dispel the idea that a modest budget doesn’t matter. Whether you are an individual or a company, you are probably spending a lot more money than you realize, and every penny makes a difference!
2. WHAT’S LITTLE TO YOU IS BIG TO SOMEONE ELSE
Our purchasing potential is like an untapped superpower, and you don’t have to be a major philanthropist to make a difference in people’s lives. You can have an immediate and real impact by paying attention to where you spend your money and then tweaking where you buy things like your groceries, your car, your clothes—even your morning cup of coffee. For example, if your main concern is supporting American manufacturing jobs, you can find out where products you love are made and buy the brands that were manufactured in the US. If you care deeply about supporting women’s empowerment, there are enough women-owned businesses here and in the developing world that you can buy most of your clothes, jewelry, paper products, and work supplies from women. These small actions, when taken together, have big results. It’s been said before, but it’s true: we vote for our values every time we open our wallet.
3. CONSCIOUS CONSUMERISM CAN SAVE $$$
Not only does conscious consumerism help others and provide employment for those who need it, but it can save consumers money. A few examples are buying in bulk and BYOB (bring your own bottle). Conscious consumerism does not necessarily mean you have to spend more!
4. PICK YOUR CATEGORY
Thinking about trying to effect change can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Look at what you are spending money on. Is it apparel? Shoes, gifts, coffee, chocolate? Identifying where you spend your money and then picking one thing will make it feel less overwhelming.
5. MAKE A COMMITMENT
Research and understand more about the purchases you are making and the products you are buying. See if you can learn who made those products, or maybe take the time to learn about the co-op that is producing your item. The more you know the more invested you will be.
In addition to Jane’s keynote, on March 26 Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte and Christine Koh of Women Online/The Mission List hosted a party to celebrate the book launch of “Buy the Change.” The event was themed Social Change is Sweet and brought together a group of stellar women who work daily to align their social values with their work.
Guests at the party enjoyed pie and lemonade (oh so sweet!) as well as goodie bags featuring Jane’s book and goodies from Boden, The Body Deli and Brave New World Designs. Jane, sporting a green power suit from Boden, signed books and talked with fellow party goers about why social impact is totally sweet!
In addition to good old fashioned networking and enjoying all things sweet, Christine Koh ran a Q&A with Jane, discussing “Buy the Change” and the power of our wallets to effect change. Afterwards Jane introduced a surprise guest, actress and Broadway Disney princess Courtney Reed. Courtney sang “Reflections” from Mulan and provided all-around positive, sweet vibes that only a Disney princess can.
The Social Change is Sweet event reminded all of us of that power Margaret Mead so wisely identified many years ago, the power of a small group of people to do good. Coming together with a group of inspiring and influential women to share Jane’s book has the potential to spread all kinds of sweetness into the world.