In covering worldwide trends, The Sche Report seeks out companies that are on the cusp of a new wave:
….doing things their own way….making a mark in the industry….paving their way into the future
These are the types of companies that interest The Sche Report and we will be reporting on them regularly within the context of trends in the marketplace.
In this “I DO GOOD” column, we will cover companies that are on the forefront of Social Responsibility and Sustainability in the marketplace. In the past 5 years, a new model of the fashion business has developed with an overall goal of producing products that change the world. Whether their goal is to help the environment or to help people in crisis/need, these companies are paving their way into the Future of Fashion.
The Social Responsibility movement in fashion was ignited by Blake Mycoskie of TOM’S SHOES, who started a campaign to donate shoes to children in developing countries that grow up barefoot. Using the purchasing power of individuals, for every pair of shoes purchased another is donated to a needy child.
Since the inception of Tom’s shoes, many other inspiring and devoted entrepreneurs have launched companies that design product with the greater good of the world in mind.
Sean Carasso of FALLING WHISTLES is one of these people. Interestingly enough, his story has a direct connection to Tom’s Shoes as his mission started while on a “Shoe Drop” to Africa with Blake and his friends. While traveling through the Congo, they stumbled upon a illegal prison where child soldiers had been abducted and were being tortured and placed on enemy lines to receive the first round of bullets from the opposing army. What Sean and his crew saw there that day changed his life forever.
A trip that started as a peaceful journey ended as a 3 month crusade to save as many child prisoners as he could. When Sean returned to Southern California, he made it his mission to spread the word about what was going on to these children in the Congo.
The idea was handed to him by a dear friend who gave him a whistle he found on ebay and encouraged Sean to “MAKE NOISE” every time he thought of the children to express his deep emotion about the issue. This is where Sean’s mantra of becoming A WHISTLEBLOWER FOR PEACE came about.
What started with one whistles soon became many as he and his friends set out on a hitchhiking road trip across the country with $200 passing out whistles and raising awareness of his campaign. Using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, Sean reached out to people from California to NYC and encouraged them to spread the word. Shortly after his quest began, Steven Alan became aware of his campaign and asked Sean if he could sell the whistles in his well-known stores in NYC and LA.
It didn’t take long for others to get on board and retailers such as Fred Segal, Curve and Donna Karan’s Urban Zen started calling to help support the cause. Rather than selling the whistles within a case alongside other products, FALLING WHISTLES decided to create visual installations to engage the consumer in the cause. This made the most sense to them as their mission is “to start a Global coalition of people who want to see change and peace in the world”. Their handmade sustainable installations were the perfect way to express their Call to Action and the word soon spread.
Currently, FALLING WHISTLES is presented in over 40 stores and they plan to reach 1000 by the beginning of next year. Sean’s team consists of hundreds of friends and supporters who work generously for free which allows 100% of their proceeds to go directly to a Holistic rehabilitation program that they fund in the neighboring community of where their mission originally started. It is at this center that over 267 children are nurtured on social and job skills, nutrition and education, and psychological support in order to help them transition back into a life outside of slavery.
Retailers across the country are supporting FALLING WHISTLES and can be found at the following locations: STAG in Austin, Lizard Lounge in Portland, JMR Chalk Garden in Salt Lake City, Fred Segal in Los Angeles, and Curve in NYC. They also recently launched on www.designersocial.com.
Sean’s mission does not stop within the retail environment. His team is widespread and will be planting roots in DC to begin advocacy about this worldwide issue within the US government. To find out more about their cause and to become a WHISTLEBLOWER FOR PEACE, visit them on Facebook, Twitter and on their website.
When we think of Sean and all the many other innovators and artists out their paving their way into the future, this quote from the legendary Jack Kerouac comes to mind:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
SPREAD THE WORD!!!