HOLLYWOOD, California – Olivia Wilde has been a fixture in Hollywood news lately, having announced both her engagement to former Saturday Night Live cast member Jason Sudeikis and recent pregnancy news. What some may not realize, however, is her growing and continued involvement in humanitarian causes.
In 2010, Olivia Wilde and her friend Barbara Burchfield visited earthquake-ravaged Haiti where they worked to raise money for relief and build a school in collaboration with Artists for Peace and Justice, a nonprofit committed to sustainable development in Haiti.
Deciding that they could do even more to help the less fortunate, the two friends partnered to establish Conscious Commerce, a website with a mission to “create a guide for conscious living by promoting the causes, brands, people and lifestyles that are forging a new paragon of living.” The two young women have combined their love of fashion and their passion for philanthropy to bring a greater awareness to global issues by collaborating with various companies and designers who make ethically sourced and produced products for the everyday consumer.
“Our website is a marketplace for lots of purposeful products…You can see a huge collection of items that we think are fabulous that benefit great organizations, so it’s a destination for people looking for a way to shop and live consciously,” says Wilde of Conscious Commerce.
Wilde and Burchfield announced their most recent collaboration with New York designer Yoana Baraschi, whose “New Light” dress is now on sale at Anthropologie. A portion of the profits raised from the dress, which retails for $298 at the high-end clothing store, will go to New Light India, a nonprofit community development project in Kolkata, India, that provides shelter, educational opportunities, recreational facilities, health care and legal aid for children, girls and women who are exposed to the reality of human trafficking and rampant prostitution in their community.
When asked about the main problem that children in Kolkata face, Wilde replied, “Prostitution is a big, big problem. It’s passed on through generations. So, women who are born into it, tend to stay in it, and so do their children. There are girls who have already been working on the streets and they’re 8 years old. It’s really horrifying. So, Urmi Basu [the founder]built this school and orphanage for these girls, allowing them to go to school, to live in a safe community, and to have an opportunity to find work outside of prostitution, [while staying]connected to their families.”
Wilde went on to say that the new collaboration with Anthropologie presents conscious consumers with a “wonderful opportunity” to learn about New Light India, the organization they are helping to support by purchasing the dress. “I love the idea of [women]finding this beautiful dress that they’d want to buy anyway and knowing that they’re part of this really wonderful movement.”
Looking forward to the future of Conscious Commerce, Wilde encourages other brands and designers to collaborate with her website. “…It’s a really beautiful way to not only introduce people to the brand, but also to nonprofit [giving].”
In connecting the consumer to the cause, Olivia Wilde is making humanitarian work easier than ever. Her dedication to raising awareness about important global issues like human trafficking and prostitution combined with action she has taken to improve the world make her truly deserving of the fame she has achieved not only as an actress, but also as a decent human being.
To learn more about Conscious Commerce, and to keep track of future fashionable collaborations, visit the website at http://consciousco.com
– Lucy Morroni
Sources: LATimes, Elle, Forbes, Conscious Commerce, New Light India