Growing up, I knew I always wanted to pursue a career that involved helping others. Never in a million years would I have imagined myself working in the perplexing, somewhat backward world of fashion.
I initially pursued medicine to fulfill this desire to extend a helping hand, but my parents taught me that there are other ways to help people in our day-to-day, building a longer, more meaningful impact. They showed me the value of:
- Stability - ensuring 40-hour work weeks, lawful wages, and consistent pay
- Resourcefulness - encouraging brands to use up raw materials they've already purchased, reducing waste
- Investment - encouraging growth in employees, growing the business to have the capacity to hire more people, building strong relationships with employees, contractors, and customers for long-term business
Unbeknownst to them, my parents were giving me a life lesson on the three pillars of sustainability and the delicate balance needed to maintain a sustainable and ethical business model. (In case you haven't seen my post on sustainability yet, you can read it here.) More importantly, placing the people behind our business at the forefront humanized our business model.
When we humanize the structure of our business model, sustainability is actually quite easy to attain. Almost naturally, it becomes ingrained into the culture of the workplace and realigns the company's core values. The focus no longer lies in just making money, but in putting enough food on everyone's table. It no longer lies in saving raw materials just to save money, but in reducing our impact on the environment for future generations. It no longer lies in hiring employees and contractors just to keep operations running, but in bringing people into the family.
So...what does it mean to help others? To me, it means using the resources that have been passed down to me or given to me through hard work to make life a little more livable and worthwhile for others. This mentality bleeds into all parts of my life, extending beyond the workplace, making the goal of helping others the underlying thread of my life's purpose. Besides, at the end of the day, life's true joy is being able to share with others so that they might experience the joys of life, too.