A Note From Our Co-Founder: Representation Beyond the Label
After three years and thousands of miles left untraveled, we’re reuniting with our team and partners in Jerash, Jordan. I almost forgot the requirements of international travel. More than 24 hours without sleep, a layover at 10pm, and a 3am drive on a desert highway from the airport to the hotel in a dodgy rental car with the engine light on. Granted, the journey is easy compared to some, but it’s less efficient than most.
We’ve never been about efficiency at SITTI. Our products are artisan made in small batches. Our CBO partners and team members are halfway across the world from our fulfillment facility. Our regular staff meetings are coordinated across a minimum of three time zones. We openly advertise that our products are made in a facility inside a refugee camp. When a pandemic isn’t hindering our travel, we spend thousands of dollars and long stretches of 12+ hour days sitting down with our partners (and their families) to listen and strategize our goals and objectives for the year. Instead of bringing in pre-trained consultants, we train our refugee-led partners to survey their community and fellow team members.
A lot of what we do isn’t easy. It’s not that we don’t appreciate efficiency. However, when efficiency is at the cost of human dignity and representation, we don’t see the point.
Human dignity goes hand-in-hand with self-reliance. Putting products on a shelf with the words ‘black-owned,’ or slapping a picture of a woman wearing a hijab on your instagram post is not enough, and it shouldn’t be. To uplift a community economically, we must facilitate a comprehensive ecosystem: from shelf space and ad campaigns, to small-business grants and venture capital funding.
Our fourth and final box in this subscription series is about representation beyond the brand label. Each brand in this box is led by a member of several (although, not all) underrepresented communities. They have extraordinary ambition and talent. Their products make an impact in the lives of the people who produce them, and the customers they serve. They carry stories of dignity and resilience. And they make our world a better, more inclusive place to live in.
We’re fortunate to have the support of two incredible organizations in this final box: UNHCR Canada and the Women's Refugee Commission. $25 CAD of each box sold will go directly to UNHCR to support life-saving programs for refugee communities around the world. And our partnerships with each organization will continue long after the last box ships out.
As we close out this chapter of the SITTI subscription box, we hope you’ve found new ways of incorporating impactful beauty, self-care and self-love into your daily routine. Maybe you gifted a box to yourself, or perhaps you gave some of the items to a friend. Whatever your experience was with the SITTI box, we’re grateful to have you in our inclusive, ever-evolving community.
Co-Founder, Head of Impact and Strategy
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