Meridian Lee Draws a New Line of Social Entrepreneurship
Fun, fashionable, durable, and useful — these are some of the most important things we look for when buying stuff. But what if you can get all of these while also promoting a good cause?
Bags and jewelry are two things that most women don’t go without nowadays. You need a clutch bag for your essentials or a tote bag for bigger things. You won’t always be wearing that shiny gold chain necklace, but you might fancy some tastefully designed beads for necklaces, earrings, or bracelets. Meridian Lee is a company that produces these products, aiming to provide affordable and meaningful items for everyday wear. And by “meaningful”, we’re not just talking about the sentimental value added to your purchase. Meridian Lee is a company that works directly with skilled women artisan. Most of them have escaped the clutches of human trafficking in their home countries. These include places like Peru, India, Kenya, Haiti, and parts of Southeast Asia.
According to studies, trafficking is a problem mainly caused by poverty. It is also caused by lack of economic and educational opportunities. Around the world, globalization has melted the borders and opened up the concept of international commerce. However, it also paved the way for a mass migration of workers. This migration makes people vulnerable to the evils of trafficking. Because there are less opportunities and smaller wages in poorly developed countries, people are driven to desperation. They usually take on any opportunity to earn. The women behind the products of Meridian Lee used to live in communities ravaged by extreme poverty. The company sees itself as an instrument to help these women regain their lives.
Meridian Lee is starting off small, with a pool of 54 artisans. However, its work has already had profound impact. You can see their products in small shops across Europe (France and Sweden), Australia, and the US (Portland, Oregon). They also have a site where people can buy their authentic yet modern bag as well as jewelry design.
But even on top of budding commercial success, Meridian Lee has made an even bigger impact on the lives of the women they have helped. By providing the artisans with secure, safe, and empowering jobs, the company assures their recovery from the horrors of human trafficking. The benefits also make a ripple effect, affecting their community. Their children are no longer prey to the same circumstances they were in. They go to school, and have adequate food and medicine. They would not have to endure the tragedies that befell their mothers.
The women behind Meridian Lee also share their blessings with the others in their community. They lend a helping hand to those who need it. These positive changes are spreading at the grassroots level, forming a strong foundation for a global movement. The company is not working the way of traditional retail businesses. It coordinates the design process in the homes and small workshops of its artisans. This allows them to choose the best materials and techniques. The lasting friendships and partnerships result in lasting products.
The love and care that goes behind the creation of each design is evident in Meridian Lee’s end products. Customers love the tasteful colors and uncompromising quality. They also praise the beauty and handiwork that goes into each item. Each piece is made with the best materials, and the best production practices. You do not have a mere bag or piece of jewelry — you’ll have a trusted companion for everyday. And you will rest easier knowing that your purchase helped an honorable cause.
Meridian Lee aims to become a link. On one hand are the people who want to live responsibly. Then, there are the people who struggle to show their amazing craftsmanship because of economic circumstances.People in developed countries are increasingly becoming more aware of the heinous working conditions that surround some factories.
These are usually the factories that provide us with our mainstream goods. There is a better way and Meridian Lee is among those who pave it. It strives to bring “ethical design” to the market, just as its tagline goes.
The way we all spend money matter — no matter how small the purchase. Whatever happens, that money will go somewhere, either to the coffers of a corporate behemoth, or the rightful people behind the product. By choosing carefully what we buy, we make a significant impact on the world. And when we choose to buy responsibly, we help the women who are given the short end of the stick, therefore encouraging a growth of a more beautiful world for everyone.