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My Sustainable Closet – Georgina Iraheta

My Sustainable Closet – Georgina Iraheta

                    Georgina Iraheta

Georgina is an intrepid traveler having been involved in volunteering and working with young children and youth from an early age. Growing up in relatively privileged surroundings in El Salvador, Georgina recalls that shopping for clothes was always done with a view to purchase clothes for the following six months to a year. The options were limited and wearing and receiving hand-me-downs from siblings and cousins, was the norm.

Huipil bag, from Guatemala. Each village around Lake Attilan has their own special design.

Over the years, Georgina has aimed to live a lifestyle that is aligned with her values. Having lived and traveled in parts of the world where there are often discrepancies between affluence and poverty, Georgina is driven to get involved to help bridge those disparities in different ways. “I can’t choose not see the poverty that exists at different levels. I can’t choose not to get involved.”

Here are all the different chocolate brands that I like and a little handmade bad that a friend brought for me as a gift from Japan. It is made by disabled children and when my friend gave it to me she said that she got it “because she knew I like that Kind of stuff” 🙂

It is through this frame that Georgina seeks to use her purchasing power for good, supporting brands that in some shape or form employ and work with marginalized communities. That’s how she came across Sudara, a brand that supports job creation and skills training for women in India who are at risk of or survivors of sex trafficking. “I stumbled across Sudara on Pinterest. They have beautiful pants and when I read about their purpose, it fit perfectly with my own views of the world. Over the years I have collected close to 10 pants and have gifted them to my mum and sister too. They are so comfortable!”

In my favourite Sudara pants learning how to make baskets from a local lady.

Georgina currently works as a teacher at an international school in Angola. “I have always loved baskets and wanted to decorate my classroom with some locally made items. When I asked the person who does the purchasing at the school, where I could get some baskets, she pointed out a stores that imported them from India and Indonesia. I was shocked to learn that she didn’t know where to buy locally made baskets, even though you see them all over the marketplace.” In speaking with others at the school, Georgina was able to locate a lady who now supplies the school with locally made baskets and decorative items. Georgina reflected that as an expat it is easy to live in a bubble and not really realize that one isn’t supporting the local economy.

These are my ethical shoes. The first sandals are from an artisan in Malaysia, the second pair are huaraches from Guatemala, the black sandals are TOMS, the pair next to it is from Everlane, the brown shoes are from an artisan in Ubud, Indonesia and the last pair of sandals from Sseko.

In any way she can, Georgina tries to use her purchasing power to support brands like Sudara and is ‘conscious’ of what she is buying whether it is clothing, accessories, food and make-up. Whenever people comment on the clothes and accessories she wears, Georgina uses it as an opportunity to talk about the brands and their mission. “It’s not about shaming people or making them feel bad about their choices, as there was a time I didn’t know any different either. It’s about letting people know that there are other options out there.”

For more information about Sudara visit: https://www.sudara.org/


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