Built into the mission of the Treasure & Bond brand is the promise to donate 2.5% of net sales to charity, a promise that delivered a $1 million donation to YWCA (USA and Canada) in 2017 and has directed more than $2.4 million to charities since 2014. This year, Treasure & Bond is collaborating with WE Charity to support programs empowering young people. WE Charity is the donation arm of WE—a family of organizations making doing good doable—and is supported by ME to WE, a social enterprise that creates socially conscious products and experiences. Partnering with WE not only helps Treasure & Bond give back to programs working for a better future, but it gives customers unique insight into the charitable impact of their purchases through ME to WE’s Track Your Impact tool.
It’s a partnership to be proud of, for sure. For more info on this collaboration, we spoke with two women instrumental in bringing it all together: Nordstrom Product Group president Jennifer Jackson Brown and ME to WE CEO Roxanne Joyal. Here’s what they said.
Jen, why did NPG decide to partner with WE Charities for 2018?
Jen: The connection point for us was when we asked ourselves “What do we care about as a company? What is our strategy around philanthropy and giving back?” Well, it’s empowering youth and women, and so each charity that we have picked along this journey has been around empowering youth. That’s why this time we’ve picked WE to partner with, because that’s a big part of what they do, too.
But this isn’t the first time Nordstrom has worked with WE, right?
Jen: Right. We started our relationship with WE five years ago in our BP. department. They have a part of their organization called ME to WE, which is a social enterprise, and they were selling these $10 bracelets made by women in Kenya. The WE organization was helping to teach those women a skill so they could contribute to their families, which ultimately contributed to their village. We carried the bracelet in our store, and our customers, especially our young customers, were really responding to it because it had a give-back element, and it could be tracked. So, if a customer bought this bracelet, they could go online and see, for example, that their purchase gave pencils to a school in Kenya, or clean water for a village.
Roxanne: The Rafiki bracelet! Beads on stretch chord. You carried it for a number of years and it was a huge success. I think people liked being reminded of the impact that they’d made. And so, from the Rafiki bracelets and our really positive collaboration came discussions around this opportunity to work with Treasure & Bond to create domestic impact as well.
Jen: Customers kept telling us that they loved the idea of understanding where the money was going more transparently. WE gives us the tools to deliver that transparency, to give to local communities where customers are buying our product, and to support the causes that are important to them.
Roxanne: That’s Jen being humble. It’s such a joy to work with her and her team. Nordstrom is all about servicing and anticipating the needs of their guests, and it was very important to them to choose an impact that would really resonate with their customers.
Would you say that ultimately this is a collaboration that puts the power to make an impact into the customer’s hands?
Jen: That’s exactly right. And to add to that, WE’s platform is based on empowerment, and so they’ve seen success when they can actually move out of a community that they’ve helped and move on to a new one. And they approach their North American platform the same way, which is to give kids different tools to empower them to contribute to their society. That’s what we love about it.
Sounds like a recipe for progress—especially with today’s kids.
Roxanne: If there’s one thing I take a tremendous amount of heart in, it’s the investment that Treasure & Bond is making in young people right now. I think it’s pretty remarkable because young people have been at the forefront of all these various social movements, right? So, I would say, if we talk about the appropriateness of the choice that Treasure & Bond has made, I think that we can all say that it’s chosen wisely.