An ever-growing demand for resources by a growing population is putting tremendous pressure on our planet’s biodiversity. What’s most concerning, is that we are living as though we have an extra planet at our disposal, but there is only one planet and unless we change course, we will need two planets by 2030.  

Let’s just stop and think about that, in the next 12 years we may have used up all the natural resources of the one and only planet we have.  That deeply concerns me and is what drives me on my journey with Made With Respect.

FOUNDER STORY

Going back to the beginning...

My journey started in 2010 when I left behind a successful career in the media industry after working for someone who disempowered and dis-enabled.  It was the catalyst that projected me from the safety of an employee into the world of start-ups.

Made With Respect has evolved from two prior businesses; the first business opened my eyes to the difference in quality craftsmanship versus off-shore factories driven purely by their bottom line. My second business, gave me a greater appreciation for the importance of authenticity and transparency.  My passion for supporting sustainable brands was born and strengthened during this period; appreciating the power of enablement, working with brands who value craftsmanship and minimising their impact on the environment, and reinforcement that our values must be an inherent part of everything we do.

I’ve come to realise that always striving for more `things’ isn’t what fulfills us.  Buying more manufactured `stuff’ that we don’t need not only destroys our planet but it doesn’t make us any more content - perhaps fleetingly, until we desire the next best thing.  Of most concern is that only 1% of the materials that flow through the consumer economy are still in use 6 months after sale, that equates to a significant amount of waste.

Our demand on natural resources has become unsustainable.

Currently the global population is 7.5 billion people with projections to increase by 1 billion in the next 12 years and 9.6 billion by 2050.  Our current consumption behaviour won’t sustain our lifestyles, but we can change and create a prosperous future that provides natural resources for the 9 or even 10 billion people who will be sharing this planet in the next 30 years.  The solution lies in all of us; in reducing wasteful consumption and smarter management of our natural resources.

What I have learnt is that the experiences we have in life is what fulfils us, and those experiences more often than not involve this truly spectacular planet with all it’s species, gifted to us to nurture for future generations...not to destroy.  Living in New Zealand, a beautiful country with clean beaches, oceans, rivers and lakes, I’m most at peace when with my family and nothing else but the beach, the waves and our surfboards.

As consumers, we need to understand our part in the process.  Consumerism is at the heart of the problem; through irresponsible and disposable consumption habits.  With greater understanding, we can all become part of the solution.

Though my desire to live a more meaningful life, Made With Respect’s mission is to educate and inform consumers how they can be part of this movement to protect our precious resources, our goal is to encourage consumers to make more conscious choices by making it easier for them to find, buy and support those brands who give a damn.

 

Susan Stevens
Founder, Made With Respect

 

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