September Box Intro: Eco Equitable

Here at Good Stuff Box, we are proud to partner with outstanding Canadian businesses, nonprofits, and charities to share their products and their stories with you, our followers.

EcoEquitable is one such partner.

The beautiful Kaumajet Pouches from their Flagbarer line are one of the feature items in our Good Stuff September Box (get yours here while supplies last!).

Our founder, Vanessa, worked with EcoEquitable back in 2015 while completing her Master's Degree, and she is so thrilled to be able to work with this wonderful organization again in 2019. She believes strongly in their mission and vision, and is happy to be able to support the important work they are doing for immigrant, marginalized, and under-employed women in the Ottawa area.

EcoEquitable is so much more than a textile company or a training program; it is a beautiful community that deserves to be celebrated. With that in mind, we'd like to share with you a little bit about the history of EcoEquitable, to show you just how truly special it is. But don't take our word for it; check them out for yourself and read more about their important work here.

The Story of EcoEquitable...

(borrowed from ecoequitable.ca)

The story of EcoEquitable begins with a nun, a play, and a little extra space. Lucile Champagne was a French Catholic nun, a trained psychotherapist, the first female chaplain of Saint Paul University, and the founder of EcoEquitable.

In the early 2000s, Lucile realized that her office in the basement of the Bronson Centre had some extra space. That just wouldn’t do for Lucile, so she helped begin a women’s support group that could use the room as needed. After a donation of used sewing machines and with a play coming up, it seemed natural for the group to offer to sew the costumes for the production. As the women worked together — shoulder to shoulder, not face to face — Lucile noticed something profound.

Working together towards a common goal gave the women a renewed sense of meaning and purpose. On top of that, they were talking. They were talking about child care and immigration status and social assistance and many other things — they were talking about the real issues that were directly affecting their lives. They were talking openly about these problems that are usually so difficult to discuss. Work created a safe space for these women.

Lucile didn’t waste any time. In 2002, EcoEquitable was founded as a co-op. It has evolved over the years... but the core of EcoEquitable has always been the principle that Lucile founded it on — work creates dignity.

The principles that Lucile lived her life by are the same values she embedded within EcoEquitable. She was relentlessly inclusive.

She saw the best in people — what they brought to the table, not what made them awkward or closed off. She was intensely empathetic. Her ability to truly appreciate and understand people, even if she had never lived their experience, was a gift... Her motivation was always to do what was right, and her goal was always to help others. She marched to the beat of her own drum. She was a serial entrepreneur. In addition to EcoEquitable, she also founded a beekeeping co-op. She saw the value of community and was always brainstorming creative new ways to help make a difference in people’s lives. More than that — she acted on those ideas.

“Our vision was to build a world in which dignity and the unique gifts of each person are valued and promoted — a community whose members stand with one another in justice and hope.”

– Lucile Champagne