We all know how vital I think education is. Education empowers and equips, it helps us see why problems happen and innovate solutions, it helps us understand people that aren’t like us. It helps us foster compassion and stand up for what we believe in. Knowledge (combined with a lil wisdom and empathy) truly is power; the impact of educating a child ultimately reaches far beyond to their families, communities and countries. So when Najat Murillo, founder of new line Live The Give and tried and tested education expert, got in touch to tell me what she was doing to give more people access to education, I was all ears.
Najat holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Educational leadership, and was an elementary school teacher for 6 years. She worked in Title 1 schools in North Texas: schools with a large concentration of low-income students who receive extra funds, with student bodies often including a variety of migrant students, students with limited English proficiency, homeless students, students with disabilities, neglected students, delinquent students, at-risk students or any student in need. Through her work in these teaching environments Najat saw first hand how education could work as a positive force in the lives of these students regardless of their background or social standing. Her experience in the classroom awakened and informed a desire to have an impact beyond the school she worked in, and Najat began to look at how she could help children in need of education across the world.
After many hours of research, Najat decided that the best way she could help put children in school around the globe was a combination of three elements: funding education, spreading awareness of the importance of education, and partnering with other organisations working to promote education. A business seemed like the perfect solution and, having always had a passion for fashion, Live The Give was born with a simple mission: to see every child equipped with a quality education.
All of Live the Give’s products are manufactured ethically in WRAP certified factories, meaning that they are made in ethical conditions. WRAP certification doesn’t simply mean passing an audit, instead WRAP requires active collaboration from its facilities to make sure requirements are met and comply with WRAP’s 12 principles:
- Compliance with Laws and Workplace Regulations
Facilities must comply with laws and regulations in all locations where they conduct business. (This covers employment and labour laws, general business conduct, ethical standards on corruption and transparency, and environmental laws)
- Prohibition of Forced Labor
Facilities will not use involuntary, forced or trafficked labor.
- Prohibition of Child Labor
Facilities will not hire any employee under the age of 14 or under the minimum age established by law for employment, whichever is greater, or any employee whose employment would interfere with compulsory schooling.
- Prohibition of Harassment or Abuse
Facilities will provide a work environment free of supervisory or co-worker harassment or abuse, and free of corporal punishment in any form.
- Compensation and Benefits
Facilities will pay at least the minimum total compensation required by local law, including all mandated wages, allowances & benefits.
- Hours of Work
Hours worked each day, and days worked each week, should not exceed the limitations of the country’s law. Facilities will provide at least one day off in every seven-day period, except as required to meet urgent business needs. Facilities are required by local law to adhere to any limits set on regular working hours as well as any limits set on overtime work. Long term participation in the WRAP Certification Program is contingent upon meeting the limitations set by local law. WRAP recognizes that this can be a particularly challenging requirement, especially when taking into account local enforcement norms and customs. In light of this reality, WRAP will permit full compliance with local laws on working hours to be achieved incrementally, provided that a given facility meets the following conditions: is fully transparent about its working hours; ensures that those hours are all being worked voluntarily, in conditions that protect worker safety and health; compensates all employees in keeping with WRAP Principle 5; and shows improvement toward meeting the working hours requirements from one audit to the next.
- Prohibition of Discrimination
Facilities will employ, pay, promote, and terminate workers on the basis of their ability to do the job, rather than on the basis of personal characteristics or beliefs.
- Health and Safety
Facilities will provide a safe and healthy work environment. Where residential housing is provided for workers, facilities will provide safe and healthy housing. (this has a large variety of requirements including free clean drinking water, medical resources, fire exits, safety equipment, good lighting, comfortable environments, clean restrooms and adequate employee training)
- Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
Facilities will recognise and respect the right of employees to exercise their lawful rights of free association and collective bargaining.
Facilities will comply with environmental rules, regulations and standards applicable to their operations, and will observe environmentally conscious practices in all locations where they operate. (In particular, proper waste management, including monitoring the disposal of any waste material – whether solid, liquid or gaseous – to ensure such disposal is done safely and in a manner consistent with all relevant laws.)
- Customs Compliance
Facilities will comply with applicable customs laws, and in particular, will establish and maintain programs to comply with customs laws regarding illegal transshipment of finished products.
Facilities will maintain facility security procedures to guard against the introduction of non-manifested cargo into outbound shipments.
The one thing that I was concerned about when speaking to Live The Give was their materials, as they currently use mainstream, non-eco fabrics. However, I was pleased to hear that they will soon be making the move to organic and recycled materials; their first line of organic baby tees will be online in the next few weeks, with the rest of their products following behind soon after. I really like the simple and minimal designs, so once they make the sustainable material switch I’ll be right in there for any essential pieces I may need in future. Watch this space!
Until next time, stay magic y’all.