The Same Five Questions is a series featuring insight from business leaders in the Thoughtful Consumerism Movement. We are delighted to begin this series with Hannah Skvarla, co-founder of The Little Market.
What inspired you to start your brand?
Lauren and I started The Little Market because we wanted to find a way to empower women around the world with a sustainable approach in every step of the process. When she and I travel together, we love visiting local markets and discovering beautiful handmade goods while meeting the artisans who make each product. Many artisans preserve skills and cultural traditions that have been passed on for generations. We met with experts in international development in order to learn how to create much-needed sustainable income, without any limit by location. Our online store allows us to sell artisans’ handmade products to a wider audience. Each purchase helps artisans preserve their culture and earn a fair wage for their beautiful goods. We continue to get inspiration from each of the artisans we work with and the stories they share with us.
What do you think needs to continue or what do you think needs to change to ensure that the thoughtful consumerism movement is sustainable in the long run?
Shoppers need to know that they truly can make a positive impact with every purchase they make. Choosing to purchase ethically sourced products shows respect for the person to made it. By purchasing fair trade, consumers can help a family or a community break the cycle of poverty. Each of us can be part of that meaningful change.
What do you wish you could tell critics of thoughtful consumerism?
It is really important to shop consciously and thoughtfully. Anna Lappe said, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” Each purchase you make, from food to clothing to household items, affects the environment, your community, and the lives of the people who make the product. Every purchase should be made carefully and thoughtfully. Through your purchases, you can support companies and organizations with values similar to your own. Purchasing high quality, fair trade items should be seen as making an investment in high quality products and empowering the people who made them.
Other than your own, what’s your favorite ethical company?
Reformation. If I am not wearing my usual T-shirt and jeans, then I am wearing one of their dresses.