Last modified: Tuesday, January 26, 2010
IU Kelley School's Check Your Label event on Feb. 5 focuses on conscious consumerism
Speakers to include TOMS Shoes and 'Where Am I Wearing' author
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 26, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In addition to shopping for style, color and fit, an increasing number of clothing shoppers are looking inside at the label, to see where it is made. Among them are many students who appreciate the local and global impacts of their business decisions.
That's the focus of a free, public event being presented by Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, "Check Your Label: Elements of Conscious Consumerism," next Friday, Feb. 5, at the IU Auditorium.
Five speakers will discuss successful business models that offer options for sustainable living for all workers on the supply chain, and will offer inspiring stories of operating a thriving business with a goal of social change. The program will be from 2 to 5 p.m.
Complete information about the event is available at http://kelley.iu.edu/checkyourlabel/.
Community and student organizations will have booths in the lobby of the IU Auditorium and offer opportunities for students who are interested in fostering social change.
Presenting will be:
- Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver of TOMS Shoes Inc., a company that gives a pair of new shoes to needy children around world with every pair sold. His company's One for One social entrepreneurship business model encouraged conscientious consumers to purchase and give more than 400,000 pairs of new shoes to children through its giving partners.
- Kelsey Timmerman, a native Hoosier and author of Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes, which offered an account of his investigation of the source of various clothes in his wardrobe. His writing, which often examines the global connection between producers and consumers, also has appeared in publications such as The Christian Science Monitor and Conde Nast Portfolio.
- Amy Chin, director and co-founder of International Development Collaborative (IDC), a non-profit that connects impoverished villages with opportunities for sustainable community self-development. IDC has a two-fold approach of developing human capital in developing countries and fostering social entrepreneurship in the United States. For example, it has acquired collegiate licenses and has provided women's weaving groups in Bolivia with the opportunity to produce officially licensed collegiate products.
- Anne and Kelly Campbell, two IU graduates who co-founded The Village Experience, a socially pro-active business dedicated to uplifting impoverished communities in the developing world through efforts in international trade and tourism. Anne worked in New York for one of the top women's clothing designers, BCBG Maxazria, where she gained experience selling to boutiques in the U.S. and in inventory management and business strategy. Kelly worked in New York and Miami doing international public relations for major fashion companies such as BCBG, Tommy Hilfiger and Anthropologie. While pursuing a master's degree in international relations in South Africa and Kenya, she volunteered for non-profits there and later became vice president of a U.S.-based non-profit Ambassadors for Children. The sisters subsequently founded The Village Experience.
Kathleen Robbins, director of the Kelley School's undergraduate program, said students are increasingly becoming interested in the broader topics of globalization, fair trade and social entrepreneurship. "I believe business students are generally becoming more socially conscious. There is a growing sentiment that a business degree can be great preparation for a career that allows you to make a difference in the world," she said.
"Hearing specific examples of financially sustainable business models that consider the greater societal good will be beneficial to our students," Robbins continued. "All of these speakers have found paths that allow them to be successful while following a strong passion. I think that message will be powerful to everyone, but particularly to students who are contemplating what their futures will hold."
Sara Woolbright, a sophomore from Scottsburg, Ind., agreed. "I think students have always been socially conscious to an extent, but have been unmotivated or unsatisfied due to the disconnection they feel from the people they want to help," she said. "Now students are becoming aware of ways in which they can apply skills they are learning through their education to incorporate their social passions into their professional lives."
Robbins and Kyleigh Turk, a sophomore from Noblesville, Ind., noted that students are getting involved in the local community and beyond in record numbers. They're working with organizations that are socially conscious, such as the school's Net Impact chapter, the Trockman Microfinance Initiative and Civic Leadership Development program, one of the largest volunteer organizations on campus.
"I have seen more and more discussion of such topics in my business classes, which is really encouraging to see -- especially with the rise in interest in this area from students," Turk added.