One of the businesses we aspire to be like most is Patagonia. They’re uncompromising in their commitment to people and the environment, and they make kick-ass products they truly stand behind.
They’ve also got a unique way of making decisions.
When it comes to making a choice at Patagonia, you can forget about fiscal reports and quarterly metrics. Instead, the question is a much simpler one: “How do we build for the next 100 years?”
One of Patagonia's best known ads, telling people not to buy their new products. Instead, repair what they already own.
If we want to create something we’ll be proud of 100 years from now, what must we do today to make this happen?
We asked ourselves that question, both as founders of a growing online business, and as global citizens.
How do we survive and thrive and build something we’ll be proud of 100 years from now?
Cambio Market had a successful year in 2017, and we’re uniquely positioned to grow in 2018 with new opportunities presenting themselves to us.
But we don’t want just 2018 to count. We want it and the next 99 years to matter.
So we created a manifesto that will last us a century.
Kuya Amado, an AKABA artisan weaver and one of the senior leaders of his community in GK Namnama. Photo by Shanice Espiritu.
CAMBIO RULES TO LIVE BY FOR THE NEXT 100+ YEARS
1. Always Go Back To Why.
When it comes to making any decision at Cambio Market, we want to be razor focused. Are we doing this because other brands are doing it? Because it’s expected of us? Because it will drive sales? If it is, then we shouldn’t do it.
But what if we’re doing it because it goes back to our mission to create an appreciation for Filipino craftsmanship? If it contributes to create more and better employment for Filipinos? If it uplifts people who make and purchase our products? If it helps build a better future for everyone and everything in it?
If it’s a yes, then let’s make it happen.
2. Work With Good People.
There are a lot of talented people out there, but talent isn’t the same thing as passion. And we want to only to work with people who share our values, our drive, and our Why.
Us (Gelaine and Jérôme) speaking with Mary Jane, one of our AKABA weavers in Ilocos Norte. Photo by Shanice Espiritu.
We promise to work only with community partners who are uncompromising in their commitment to create fair, dignified, and meaningful employment for their workers. Our partners must be the best examples of what Filipino entrepreneurship c like. And the same must be said for anyone we partner with, especially as the Cambio team continues to grow.
3. Ask For Help And Give Help.
We all do better through each other. And we vow to be a business that gives generously, both with our money and our time, to create the most positive impact we can within our communities in the Philippines and abroad.
But we also humbly accept that we can’t do it alone. When we need help, we must ask for it. And when we can help others, we must offer it. We believe in harnessing the talents and collective powers of our global community in a way that is always respectful, positive, and meaningful for the communities our work impacts most.
Jay-Anne, one of our longest-standing artisans with Olivia & Diego in Davao City, Philippines. Photo by Yana Santiago.
4. Think Long-Term.
It’s easy to become misguided and misled, especially when you’re a business that needs to survive and thrive. But we promise to stay focused - to follow the Patagonia philosophy and to make decisions that will see us through to the next 100 years. Because if we can’t build something good that lasts, then we shouldn’t build it at all.
Thank you for being part of our journey to build something great.
We’re looking forward to making 2018 (and the next 99 years) count.
Gelaine & Jérôme
Photo by Kevin Ramos.
Gelaine is a social entrepreneur, an online storyteller, and a passionate advocate for diversity and ethics in business. She’s the co-founder of Cambio & Co., an e-commerce fashion company working with Filipino artisans to celebrate Filipino craftsmanship, culture, and heritage. Gelaine is also one of the founders of Sinta & Co., the world’s first conscious Filipino wedding boutique. She was named one of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2019. Find her on Instagram @gelainesantiago and www.gelainesantiago.co
It’s so great to read something that is genuine and totally outside the box. Continue the amazing work, I can feel your passion and commitment to Philippines and their people. Congrats!!!
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