Mosbacher Morris with the company’s limited-edition 19th Amendment Anniversary silk scarf, made by a woman-owned and -operated factory in India
Jane Mosbacher Morris’ journey starts in, of all places, the U.S. Department of State’s counterterrorism bureau. After a college internship with the department led to a job, Mosbacher Morris spent the next five years traveling overseas, often sitting down with women to find out what allowed them to have influence in their communities. “I was focused on empowering women to fight terrorism when I realized that women’s influence was severely constrained by their lack of resources,” she says. “In other words, money is power.” This propelled Mosbacher Morris onto a new path, one in which she was determined to find a way to create and sustain jobs for overlooked communities around the world, particularly women.
Her brainchild, TO THE MARKET (tothemarket.com), offers a simple solution: Elevate suppliers that are better for people and better for the planet. “We work with over 200 vetted makers from over 50 countries,” Mosbacher Morris explains. “By creating a simple technology solution that is accessible to makers around the world, we are democratizing access to production opportunities for big brands, retailers and corporations.” And, in doing so, the company is “fundamentally shifting an industry away from factories with challenging environmental and social footprints,” she continues. Win-win.
TO THE MARKET took action during last year’s PPE shortage
TO THE MARKET has also done a whole lot of good in the wake of the pandemic. Instead of waiting to act, the company pivoted early, mobilizing its vast network to begin producing personal protective equipment. “It took about 30 days to get our manufacturers to retool their operations to PPE,” Mosbacher Morris says. “In the first months, we secured over 1.2 million units in orders and have since supplied over 11 million units of PPE to date. … We helped frontline workers around the country gain access to compliant supplies while creating work for ethical makers and suppliers globally.”
When the Atlantan isn’t off changing the world, she’s likely spending time with her husband, Nate, who is the founder of Rubicon, a software company that offers smart recycling solutions to protect the planet (talk about a power couple). “He is always driven by his goal of making the world a better place,” she shares. “He inspires me every day to work hard and focus on the greater good in all that I do.”
The entrepreneur in northern Kenya.
“It can be daunting to navigate how to be a more conscious consumer, but everyone can make small changes that will have a lasting impact,” says Mosbacher Morris, who recently released a bonus chapter of her book, Buy the Change You Want to See: Use Your Purchasing Power to Make the World a Better Place. Here, the author shares tips for getting started.
Start by identifying ethically produced products.“Coffee is a great place to start since coffee has far more robust supply chain transparency than many other goods,” she explains.
Research the brands and make conscious choices based on your findings.
Look for label information that highlights how it was produced.“Another example could be your favorite clothing brand,” she says. “Is it Fair Trade Certified? Is it GOTS-certified organic cotton? Thoughtful consumption is a great first step.”
Photography by: all photos courtesy of TO THE MARKET