I love hearing how people celebrate their anniversaries. Some are the go all out type. Some do what I like to call the pick-and-roll, where you pick up your food and roll it back home in your car. Some people do big gifts. Little gifts. Diamonds. Some couples have to celebrate it on the day and some can't even remember until they are reminded. MY FAVORITE though, the couples that do that weird traditional themed gifts each year. Where every year its a different theme from the list that someone (who knows who) made up. Anyways, I think its so cute when couples do that.
This time of year marks our TWO year anniversary of moving Parative production to India. And the two year anniversary gift happens to be... you guessed it, COTTON! What? What a funny theme for a gift. I just picture cotton balls. Parative already gifted itself something cotton though, the perfect organic cotton tees. We gifted those to ourselves about 6 months ago, but they were a long time in the making.
What else have we done in those two years?
BEGAN OUR PERSONAL ETHICAL SHOPPING JOURNEY:
Not long into the process of learning how our goods would be made and who they would be made by in India, Drew felt a no-brainer conviction that our family should start being smart about how we use our money. That we should only give business to the companies that took pride in their sourcing. As you may have tracked with previous posts, this was a tricky one for me (tricky meaning crying at the mall). Our family is still trying to do this as well as we can. It has been so rewarding and worthwhile we would recommend it to anyone, and we do.
DESIGNED OUR OWN BLANKS:
I touched on this earlier in my weird anniversary gift intro but WE DESIGNED OUR FAVORITE T-SHIRTS. With the help of some talented people (cough cough, Joanna and Jennifer and THE WOMEN OF FREESET) we were able to create a men's, women's, and unisex tee that fits and wears so well we don't take them off. And what is even cooler... we noticed other people love the tees just as much as we do. They fit well, they are made well, they wear well with time, and they are priced well. What is even better to me is that this was a pinnacle for us, but we aren't stopping there. We are going to keep designing and making goods that are our favorites and yours (when Drew put our final sample men's tee on he danced and sang, "I am wearing my favorite tee shirt", just to give an idea of how pinnacle this was).
OUR FAMILY DOUBLED IN SIZE:
Ok, maybe not doubled because Niles was alive when we did our Kickstarter 2 years ago, but he was just 3 months old, so he was more a cute sleeping blob than he was a family member. But now we just added Ellen to the craziness and it keeps getting better and better. Wonder how many psychos we will have in this bunch in two more years. Something that having kids has made us think about is how and what we will teach them about shopping ethically and consuming. If you have any pointers about teaching your kids things like this, send em our way.
IMPACT IN INDIA:
When it comes down to it, what's the purpose of Parative? The truth is that it's not just about flags and shirts. It's the impact we are collectively making in India. If it came down to it, I would sell small musical (annoying) children's toys if we needed to.
In the last two years, our purchases have helped provide an extra 44 months of employment with our non profit partners. This is able to cover a year's salary for 3 women, and some change.
That leads you to two possible reactions.
1. Wow, 3 women?! That's great, keep up the great work!
Or 2. Wow, 3 women?! What's the point? Why waste your evenings and weekends on this project?
To be honest, we would do it all over again, 100 times over.
WELL, THERE YOU HAVE IT, our past two years in a nutshell. Can't wait to see what happens to Parative in the next two or ten. And in case you were wondering, Drew and I are totally the pick-and-roll anniversary type.