Now that you know how our network was born, I want to tell you all about our values and principles which guide our work and help us choose our network’s people and their talents.

Think about that shirt you’re wearing right now. You may know what it’s made of or even where was it produced, but does that really tell you anything? Think about any other thing you own such as your car, your make up, your furniture… It can be whatever you want. We really wanted to change that, so we took the first step and asked those talented people we knew where their materials came from: some of them had amazingly sustainable production processes but their raw materials were bought from producers with unethical practices; others had major problems with waste production; while others had “sustainable” written all over their chain!

The process I just described is what we like to call sustainable curation. We are fierce in discovering and leveraging small producers with beautiful products and sustainable practices all over their value chain. So when we find out our talents’ products don’t match our values (but we still want to show them to the world because they are so amazing) we work with these people and help them find their way to sustainability. This means we help our talents find new suppliers, reuse their waste, make different choices and ultimately get better results! Some of our talents are preparing exclusive collections with sustainable materials while others are in the middle of the process of discovering how to make all of their beautiful products in this new way.

Remember when I told you about how we are daily bombed with information we don’t even know how to assess? When I was talking to Joana about all of this, she started telling me how she would love to create a website where people could see the real people behind the products they bought, with lots of photos of their workshops and video interviews about them and how they produce the things they sell. That way people could really know where the stuff they buy comes from and who made it, making a well-informed decision before buying anything. So we realized we we’re preparing ourselves to develop a project that at least had two different paths – an online store with amazing, beautiful, handmade, artisanal and sustainable products to sell and a blog which would not only show who was making those products but also address other issues. That curation process I was telling you about also applies to the content our network produces. We invite our bloggers to share their knowledge and life experiences that will match our values and add happiness to our readers’ lives – fresh perspectives of the same old ideas, new approaches that no one has ever heard of or even controversy issues are just some ideas trough photos, videos, music and sound, text or any other means they find appropriate.

By doing that we are decreasing the spacing between producers and buyers and also connecting people who look for a more responsible, fairer and happier lifestyle. We soon realized this was a major differentiator of our project and also very soon we knew we needed a third path to balance our strategy – and that was when Matilde told us how she was planning to bring that connection from online to our offline lives.

Tired already? Well, I told you this whole thing started almost nine months ago! 🙂

Stay tuned!

Did you miss the explanation about how we created our network? Head over here.