One Texas woman wants you to be able to fight poverty before you even put any clothes on.
When Tara Smith came home from volunteering with the Peace Corps, she hoped to continue empowering the women she had been working with in Cameroon, West Africa. So, the 26-year-old went on to co-found Cherie Amie, a fair trade lingerie company whose profits will be used to bring microloans to women in the region.
"Why can't women look sexy to help other women?" she asks in a press release.
To help get her do-gooder project off of the ground, Smith has set up an indiegogo campaign to raise $15,000 by Aug. 31.
If the project proves to be successful, ladies will be able give both their partners and African women something to get excited about.
Since it is a Good Returns company, 100 percent of profits will go toward giving charitable organizations the chance to grant interest-free microloans to African women. Some money will also benefit Smith’s other benevolent venture, Peace Tree Africa, a nonprofit that supports sustainable development projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
But Smith is just one of a number entrepreneurs using a fair-trade model to change the lives of struggling women.
After leaving the corporate world behind, Ed Edmundson founded Earth Divas, a business that imports handmade goods made mostly by women living in Nepal, Potomac Patch reports.
Edmundson carries bags, hats and wallets, returns 100 percent of profits to the craftswomen and doesn’t take a salary, according to the news outlet. He’s that determined to adequately compensate his craftswomen.
"Once I started doing this, it was like this is not going to be anything that's ever going to make me rich, and I can't take money," he told Potomac Patch. "I don't want to be 65-70 years old…and look back a say that I didn't do anything worth while in my life.”
As for Smith, who has raised $2,825 so far, she sees her business endeavor as a way to pay it forward.
"The women I met in Cameroon changed my life forever," she said in a press release. "I want to change theirs with decent wages and the market access their lingerie products deserve."
Feeling inspired? Find out how you can donate to the Cherie Amie campaign here.
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