When we launched our business in Texas nearly five years ago, our vision was to empower millions of people to reduce their carbon footprint, invest in the dreams and journeys of female entrepreneurs, and create an impact that inspires action. We came together in 2008 as sisters and friend and started our mission-based business, BlueAvocado.
Today, we are thrilled to have a variety of eco-collections for food-on-the-go, travel and beauty that can be found at The Container Store, Whole Foods, Target, JC Penney and numerous online retailers.
However, a key part of our original vision was to have a made-in-the-USA line, which at the time of our launch (and the height of the recession) was simply too great a challenge.
Fast forward five years, several lessons learned, obstacles overcome, hundreds of products created, millions of disposable items and waste avoided, hundreds of women micro-entrepreneurs empowered globally, and impactful partnerships formed, and we are thrilled to announce that our original vision of having products made in the USA — literally in our own backyard in Austin, Texas — is now a reality.
Open Arms is a social enterprise using the power of business to inspire social change. The organization offers living-wage employment to women war survivors, demonstrating the power of the human spirit and breaking the cycle of poverty this group so often experiences. Combining ESL and enrichment classes with family-friendly hours, this meaningful work and living-wage employment creates self-sufficiency and dignity for the women they employ. Open Arms is committed to both people and the planet, offering conscious consumers the opportunity to make a purchase with a purpose.
Together we have created Say Yes, an eco-collection of accessories using reclaimed T-shirts, canvas and remnant fabrics, to be sewn in Austin, Texas, by female war survivors. If 4,000 people Say Yes to one reusable bag, we can keep 200,000 disposables out of the landfill, upcycle over 2,000 T-shirts and provide full-time jobs and literacy classes to four women for four months.
This is a pinnacle point for us — a dream come true on so many levels. We are all connected by one planet, and the potential of the human spirit to rise up in the face of extreme adversity and realize the impossible. Waste less. Empower more. And Say Yes to female entrepreneurs using the power of business to create a better world.
The Say Yes crowdfunding campaign ends on September 6. Visit the project page to contribute and help BlueAvocado and Open Arms reach their goal.