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The Ripple Effect

I love dreaming about Thread’s future.

In five years (or two) we’ll have sustained strong, responsible supply chains around the globe.   We’ll have created localized product lines that feel good because they’re made from premium materials and create jobs for people who need them.  We’ll share stories about the people we work with at home, in Haiti, and elsewhere.  Told the way they should be – by the person living it.  Dignified and truthful.  Vibrant, patient, and sometimes hard to tell because sometimes they’re hard to live.  Each story will have endurance at the core that doesn’t waver and reminds me not to either.

Thread’s point is to create opportunity out of neglected resources in the poorest countries.  Not just material waste, but the incredible talent lying dormant in people.

But beyond this, when I dream about Thread’s future, there’s a secondary impact that encourages me just as much — the ripple effect of sustaining a company with morals as strong as its economics.

Since we began this work, I’ve changed the way I live.  I’m healthier, more active, and see things differently.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still splurge on some stuff, love ice cream, and have days when I’m not productive.  But I’m more mindful.  I care more about the products I buy.  I want to know where they came from.  Who made them.  How companies treat the people who made them.  I buy less.  I understand the terrible impact excessive shopping and throwing away and shopping again (simply because I can) has on our world.  It drives the quality of products down – designed for short-term use knowing they’ll be trashed soon, creating opportunity for more buying and more waste.  It encourages mass production rather than customized, careful making.  It sends loads of discarded ‘stuff’ into landfills.  And just because you donate it doesn’t mean it isn’t still a problem.  So much waste is being left behind for our kids to deal with.  (It’s not going to disappear into the earth or some place just beyond where we can see.  They’re going to have to deal with it.)

I’ve watch my teammates grow.  Our families and friends.  Thread interns and people we work with too.  Good intentions become lifestyle.  You question norms in a constructive way.  I feel more connected, and I don’t mean social networking.  I mean human values and core virtues.  Thread has taught me to cut out waste in a way that makes room for efficiency and fundamentals that I lost track of in the race.  Slowing down and reducing excess allows you to launch ahead, carrying only the things that matter, guided by moral code and big vision.

I’ve dreamed about this my whole life.  Not just this type of company, but the radiating effect of giving people a place to live well in a powerful way.  Thread prioritizes impact on the planet and people’s lives because it’s the right thing to do.  And it turns out, doing the right thing leads to success, more good things, and a better life.  For everyone.

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