The Truth Is, I'm Not Trying to Help Them
During our recent pop-up events, I had the opportunity of speaking face-to-face with guests on what TJULA Design is about. Oftentimes when explaining that TJULA works with women from underprivileged villages trained by a social enterprise, the response received was “Oh, so you’re trying to help them”.
The truth is, the word “help” never crossed my mind.
In an ideal world, I envision treating workers fairly, empowering underprivileged individuals to realize their potentials and doing business in an ethical way. These are just some of the natural ways of living. Unfortunately, the economic system in today’s world is mainly driven by other priorities. Ethical and sustainable practices are often afterthoughts when they don't constitute inconveniences to profits and efficiencies. Practices that are not driven by maximizing a business’ own profits are often put in the category of charity.
At TJULA Design, ethical practice and fair trade are everyday routines. To me, it's the natural way of conducting business, the way to advance ourselves and our communities. Social studies have shown that higher social equality leads to a more stable and abundant society, while inequality strips most society members of true happiness, including those who are more privileged. Therefore, if we want to better ourselves, the most effective way is to lift up everyone together.
TJULA Design is not in the business of helping women. It is in the business of empowering women and promoting conscious consumerism. The women I work with are helping to make that a reality.