GOOD

Why I Nominated Jeremy Jones for the GOOD100

Jones started the nonprofit Protect Our Winters in 2007 to unite the winter sports community around combating climate change. Unlike other environmental groups, POW makes advocacy feel personal.

Illustration by Lauren Tamaki

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

How We Address Hunger By Empowering Women

On International Women’s Day, WFP USA celebrates one of its grassroots partners in the field, a nonprofit called the Afghan Friends Network...

On International Women’s Day, WFP USA celebrates one of its grassroots partners in the field, a nonprofit called the Afghan Friends Network (AFN), which provides literacy and vocational training for women in rural Afghanistan as well as education for boys and girls. AFN is spearheading the country’s first-ever children’s curriculum on women’s rights, which is expected to be introduced this fall.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Thanks to Hollywood and Invisible Children’s viral KONY2012 campaign, most Americans associate child soldiers with African dictatorships or Middle Eastern terrorists. But the reality is the problem is much closer to home. Head to Mexico and you’ll soon discover that over 30,000 of that nation’s youth have been coerced into working as child soldiers for the various drug cartels.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

How We’re Rethinking 911 Around the Globe

At Trek Medics, we’re improving emergency medical care in developing countries. Our long-term goal is to champion a comprehensive, integrated approach to emergency medical system development that enables communities to build their own systems, on their own terms, using their own resources, and in a way that matches their specific needs.

After teaching English in Central America for a few years, I returned to the U.S. and knew I wanted to do something different, but I wasn’t quite sure what that should be. I learned a lot from the experience and really enjoyed it, but after 20 plus years as a student and then teacher, I wanted to get out of the classroom. One of the things I realized was that education was something of a professional "backstage pass"—a job skill that, generally speaking, was in high demand and could do a lot to help find work pretty much anywhere. As an American, speaking Spanish was another one of these passes. So when I started looking for a new career path, I began focusing on jobs that offered experience with wide practical application. After ruling out law, politics, accounting, and farming, I found an Emergency Medical Technician class and signed up, figuring emergencies happen everywhere and people are always looking for help.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

New York City Needs A New Sustainable Model for Fashion Production

Manufacture New York is revitalizing the city's fashion design industry through cooperative sourcing, sustainable practices, and public awareness.

\n
Sometimes an industry simply can’t move forward without changing the conversation and embracing more sustainable business models. \n
My name is Bob Bland, and I am a Brooklyn-based serial entrepreneur and community art advocate. I'm also a professional apparel and graphic designer with previous experience everywhere from Ralph Lauren to Marc Jacobs. I founded Brooklyn Royalty in 2006 as a growing number of industry veterans grew tired of designing quality merchandise extolling the virtues of New York City, only to have it produced in China. We dedicated ourselves to a vision of completely Made In USA labels utilizing local sourcing in the Garment District and all five boroughs whenever possible. In the last two decades, the U.S. has lost 80 percent of its apparel manufacturing jobs, and post-recession there has been little growth because designers lacked the infrastructure, resources, and industry support necessary to make substantial gains in domestic production.
Globalization has placed the fashion industry in a position where it is possible to design clothes in NYC, email the technical specifications to Asia, and then (hopefully) receive quality samples in just two weeks. Outsourcing production used to seem like magic for designers on a budget and thrifty, trend-driven consumers, but what is the actual cost?
There are old factories sitting empty, and industrial space in the Garment District is being rezoned as residential and commercial. There are excellent, hard-working production managers and sewers who are now either working out of their homes, have had to change industries, or are simply unemployed. And there is a generation of talented fashion entrepreneurs who have built loyal followings around their brands' stylistic brilliance and forward-thinking innovation, but have woefully limited options when it comes to making their product available to a larger audience.
Manufacture New York is the solution. Our organization will be the country’s first fashion design AND production incubator. Inspired by the best of the social change accelerators & coworking spaces for creative entrepreneurs, it will allow for local fashion designers to also have the opportunity to conceive, develop, and manufacture their own lines right here in the United States. We will assist designers in creating fiscally sustainable and socially conscious lines through the following principles:
Cooperative Sourcing- Collaboration is in, hoarding resources and contacts is out. We are partnering with progressive websites (Maker's Row, Made in NYC, Citizen Made) and progressive organizations (Save The Garment Center, Pratt Design Incubator) to make U.S. fashion sourcing accessible to a new generation through virtual maps of manufacturers, fabric/trim suppliers, printers and more. This will begin leveling the playing field so that independent designers have a real possibility of establishing healthy businesses from the start.
Sustainable Manufacturing- Reducing financial & ecological waste in the production process isn’t a cause, its a completely practical way to do business! By reducing transportation costs, eliminating international legal and customs fees and negotiating partnerships with other local sourcing suppliers we can market NYC-made fashion affordably. We are supporting our community by creating new, fair wage jobs that are stable thanks to the collective ordering power of 60+ independent designers. We will use reclaimed equipment and supplies, and energy efficiency wherever possible—not just because it's ethical, but because it saves us money that we can return to our designers in the form of increased services and support staff.
Public Awareness Campaigns- Socially responsible design just makes sense. Designers must take on a greater role in educating their buyers on the real impact of fast fashion and unchecked consumption through public awareness campaigns and increased transparency throughout the full product lifecycle. We encourage fashion lovers to buy local, research brands and be more practical with their money. Every dollar is a vote for something, so why not express support for innovative design and quality workmanship?
The goal of Manufacture New York is to create a centrally located facility in Industry City, Brooklyn that serves as a keystone to a new Brooklyn Garment District. The space will include manufacturing facilities, a fully-equipped sampling room, a classroom space (open to the public), private studios for rent, and a state-of-the art computer lab equipped with the industry’s best software for design and production. We will also offer an area for experimentation with eco-friendly fabric washes, dyeing, textile applications, and finishes.
The impact of Manufacture New York will be huge. Finally, consumers will have greater options for locally made attire. Finally, independent local fashion designers will have the resources and space available to make their visions a reality. High demand fashion concepts such as sustainable materials, and eco-friendly products will be produced easier and faster than ever before. And we will lead by example, inspiring big corporate brands to move some production back to the US, so they can also witness the long-term positive impact on the local community and their bottom line.
Our fundraising campaign runs until March 31st, join the movement here.
This month, challenge a neighbor to GOOD's energy smackdown. Find a neighbor with a household of roughly the same square footage and see who can trim their power bill the most. Throughout February, we'll share ideas and resources for shrinking your household carbon footprint, so join the conversation at good.is/energy. \n
Articles

The 1 Percent: How We've Engaged 15,000 Designers to Donate Their Services

The 1% pro bono design program from Public Architecture has engaged 15,000 architects and designers for good.

We live at a time when there is growing desire to take an active role in social change. Beyond simple volunteering, pro bono service—donating professional services for which a nonprofit would otherwise have to pay—is a productive way to engage your expertise to improve the scale, sustainability, and impact of nonprofits in our communities. It is a subset of skilled volunteering that gives nonprofits access to the skills and experience they need to increase their capabilities and better serve their mission.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles