What a week, eh? Between #EarthDay on Monday, #StopFoodWasteDay on Wednesday and #FashionRevolutionWeek wrapping up today, I’m pretty spent.
These “holidays” allow us to raise awareness around social and environmental issues — to celebrate our progress and call out the work that has yet to be done. But it can also be tough to separate out the substance from the PR and social media blitz.
It makes me reflect on why I started this newsletter in the first place — as a bi-weekly opportunity to cut through the clutter and surface content that triggers new ideas, new approaches, new ways of thinking.
I'm curious — what stood out to you this week? Anything that made you “reconsider” the role of business in this crazily changing world of ours? Hit reply to let us know.
P.S. If a link in this letter made you think, why not forward it on to a friend? Your referral is the biggest thanks you can give.
CLIENT LOVE 😍
Congratulations to our partner CleanDye on opening their first water and chemical free textile dyeing factory in Vietnam! An exciting milestone toward a cleaner fashion industry.
This Week's 5 Links
Is Earth Day old news? The April 22 holiday was initially launched in 1970 to spark substantive public and governmental action on environmental issues. But today, with subjects like climate change and plastic pollution well on the public radar, it’s become little more than a PR opportunity. This article charts the history and decline of Earth Day and questions its relevance in a changing world. (7 minutes)
The fashion industry has a problem. To sell more and more, brands are producing more and more, listing new arrivals weekly. In this Fast Company op-ed, Elizabeth Segran makes the case for sustainable fashion, arguing that brands have the responsibility to produce less and consumers have a responsibility to consume less. This piece had particular resonance for us this week as we commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse with Fashion Revolution Week. (9 minutes)
👉 TAKE ACTION: To change fashion for the better 💪. This guide we created with our partner Fashion for Good might help — it contains 30+ easy, actionable #goodfashion tips.
Last week, a devastating fire partially destroyed the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. The image of the iconic spire in flames prompted a spree of commitments from France’s wealthiest billionaires, including the heads of LVMH, L’Oréal and Kering. While initially applauded, the pledges (and their sponsoring companies) soon faced backlash as the donation amount passed $1 billion. Observers questioned why philanthropists were so quick to convene around Notre-Dame while other causes, like climate change or disasters in lesser known locations, struggle to receive the same attention. Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg poignantly captured this sentiment in a speech to the EU parliament: “I want you to act like the house is on fire. I want you to panic.” This Slate article explores why it takes a historic landmark to literally catch fire in order to spark action. (11 minutes)
“You can’t be an environmentalist and eat meat.” “You can’t possibly talk about bike advocacy if you’re not first curbing your flying.” “How can you boast about insulating your home when you use an energy-hungry clothes dryer?” Statements like these are all too common in the environmental movement. Author Sami Grover calls out the tendency of environmentalists “to focus their fire on each other”, arguing that such hyper attention on the individual can eventually become counterproductive. The same might be said for business too — in our rush to point out inconsistencies in a company’s CSR efforts, we can sometimes fail to acknowledge the progress being made. (8 minutes)
📹 Ray Dalio Says Wealth Inequality Is A National Emergency — 60 Minutes
Earlier this month, hedge-fund billionaire Ray Dalio made headlines when he called out capitalism on the international stage. In this 60 Minutes interview and a LinkedIn post, he argues that the widening wealth gap threatens to split the United States and advocates economic reform — including (controversially) higher taxes on billionaires like himself. I’m eager to see if this missive, like the investor letters from BlackRock’s Larry Fink, will change how the mainstream investor community views social responsibility. I’m also waiting to see how Dalio will back up his words with meaningful action. (13 minute excerpt)
MOST CLICKED FROM LAST ISSUE // Are Bankers and Venture Capitalists Really Getting Fleeced by Patagonia? — The New York Times. Read more about how businesses are challenging the status quo in our archive.
Social Impact Jobs
Avery Dennison — Sustainability Intern (The Hague, Netherlands)
Ellevate — Social Media Coordinator (New York City)
Female Quotient — Executive Assistant & Chief of Staff (Los Angeles)
Gymshark — Sustainability Manager (Solihull, UK)
Intertek — Auditor, Supplier Management/CSR (Remote)
Invisible Hand — Executive/Administrative Assistant (New York City)
MasterCard — Analyst, Center for Inclusive Growth (London)
Peloton — Brand Coordinator, Social Impact (contract) (New York City)
Sustainable Apparel Coalition — Project Manager (Irvine, California)
Airbnb — Social Impact Experiences Lead, North America (Los Angeles)
Allbirds — MBA Intern, Product Strategy & Consumer Insights (San Francisco)
Charlotte’s Web — Ecommerce Project Manager (Denver, Colorado)
Circulate Capital — Investment & Operations Director (Singapore)
Cisco / Inlea — CSR Program Manager (Bogotá, Colombia)
Grab — Social Impact Communications Manager (Manila, Philippines)
Harley-Davidson — Community Affairs Manager (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
LinkedIn — Senior Social Impact Programs Manager (London)
Lockheed-Martin — Senior Analyst, Sustainability (Bethesda, Maryland)
Maiyet — Brand Partnerships Manager (London)
Mercado Global — Design & Product Development Manager (Panajachel, Guatemala)
Participant Media — Manager, Social Impact (Los Angeles)
PepsiCo — Supply Chain Sustainability Manager (Shanghai, China)
PIE Strategy Limited — Senior Sustainability Analyst (Hong Kong)
PwC — Project Manager, Responsible Business Leadership (Seattle)
Revolution Foods — Senior Director, Operations (Edison, New Jersey)
Salesforce — Director, Product Management, Philanthropy Cloud Giving (Multiple Locations)
stok — Sustainability Project Manager (San Francisco)
Arbonne International — Director, Corporate Responsibility & Social Impact (Irvine, California)
Coca-Cola — Senior Communications Manager, Sustainability Reporting (Atlanta, Georgia)
Comcast — Senior Director, Partnerships & Community Impact (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Geneva Global — Managing Director, Philanthropic Services (Paoli, Pennsylvania)
Goodweave — Director of Communications (Washington, DC)
La Prairie Group — Sustainability Manager (Zurich, Switzerland)