Net Impact recently had its kick off event for the fall of 2012. We were very pleased and excited to have the founder of Distant Village come and speak to us about sustainable business practices here in Chicago.
Rich Cohen is the founder of Distant Village. It is a company that makes sustainable packaging for a wide variety of products-from baby sheets to chocolates. All products are made of recyclable materials and are produced with artisans that are paid fair trade wages. It was interesting to get Rich's insights into how running a business works-from the point of view of someone who cares deeply about the environment and the people who are working for and with him.
During Rich's talk for us, he gave us insights into how and why he founded this company. He wanted to create products that were beautiful and good for the planet, the people who manufactured them and were eye catching to the end user. His company creates unique and beautiful pieces for his clients. He creates one a kind pieces that are made by his artisans who are located throughout the world who work to create a premium product. As I previously said, Rich is passionate about social responsibility, and he pays his artisans fair trade wages. As such, his products cost more to make-and they command a correspondingly higher price; but truthfully, after seeing his finished products, it seemed that the end result alone would justify a premium price. The packaging that his company makes is uniquely breathtaking; I was very impressed at the skill required for his packaging. Rich also stated that in many cases, the packaging isn't meant to be thrown away, you can use it again and again-for storage purposes and things of that nature.
The passion for his business was very obvious to me. It was a wonderful and eye-opening experience to have someone speak to us about social entrepreneurship. Everyone in the audience greatly appreciated his insights. On behalf of Net Impact, I'd like to thank Rich Cohen for taking his time to come and speak for us. I'd also like to thank everyone who was in attendance, we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events! Stay tuned to our social media and the Liautaud e-mail updates for our future events.