We are making some changes! Since we started, we have managed to complete two water projects in Uganda and Indonesia. More than 90% of the money raised to provide these two communities with access to clean, safe drinking water came from the sale of BNE products and artwork, not donations. We are not good at traditional fundraising and do not enjoy asking people for donations. In order for this to be sustainable, we need to enjoy our work. Besides seeing the happy faces of people we’ve helped, creating BNE product is what I have most enjoyed since we started. Selling products is what seems to work, so that is the direction we are now moving.
To achieve the goal of uniting people around the world in support of urgent social issues, I believe that the best way is through commerce. If products are what will get people involved, then we here at BNE will dedicate ourselves to making the highest quality organic products. We’ve chosen to make organic products because many basic necessities that people consume regularly are full of harmful chemicals. These chemicals are destroying our health and the environment. By producing organic products in the most socially and environmentally responsible ways possible, we can create an even bigger impact and also help protect the health of our customers.
From now on, we will operate as a for-profit company and donate a large percentage of profits to the world’s greatest charities. I attempted to launch a non-profit on my own because I did not trust established charities. What I’ve learned since, is that many of them are truly dedicated and are legitimately changing lives. There are so many amazing NPOs on the ground doing great work whom simply lack funding and awareness. Now knowing what it takes to set off a successful NPO, I’ve gained a whole new respect for groups on the ground who are making things happen. I wish that I could tell a story of how the worldwide street art and graffiti community united to form a SUPER-NPO straight from the streets, just like I imagined, but it didn’t go down that way. It’s ok though because we will never give up and are simply moving onto a better, more sustainable plan.
Our first product is a certified organic lip balm that is available in 4 different flavors. We’ve worked really hard for the last 8 months and have created the world’s greatest lip balm, literally. Speaking of lip care, it’s worth mentioning that more than 50% of every dollar that Americans spend on lip balm goes to just two companies. Thinking before you buy is a revolutionary act. By exercising your power of consumer choice, you will be doing more than just helping to even things out. Every time you chose a BNE product, you will also be protecting your health, the environment and supporting an urgent cause.
In closing, I would like to thank everyone who has supported this project so far. Whether you made a donation, bought a tee, sent out a tweet or blogged about us, your contribution made a difference and is appreciated.