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Great things happen when we #makeforgood

Feb 22, 2016

by Sigourney

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

What happens when you ask Etsy’s Australian community of makers, designers and curators to help change the world for girls? As we found out with last year’s #makeforgood campaign, the results can be pretty extraordinary.

Last year we launched an exciting project (and a first for us) – a partnership with Plan International Australia that aimed to harness the creativity and generosity of our community and create a silver living for girls living in poverty.

Getting behind the cause

We know you – our community, 94 per cent of whom are women – are passionate about girls rights and about making opportunity and education more accessible for all. So we asked sellers to create products inspired by Plan’s mission to change the world for girls and pledge to donate at least 20% of proceeds to their Because I Am A Girl campaign (an initiative which works in developing countries to lift girls and their communities out of poverty).

The goal? To raise $20,000 – enough to change the lives of 150 women through grants to start their own microenterprises.

And my oh my did Etsy’s Australian community answer the call! Almost 400 incredible Etsy sellers around the country got behind the cause, between them creating and selling thousands of products to thoughtful buyers around the world. From one-of-kind artworks and customised jewellery to children’s toys and so much more, the Because I Am A Girl mission was manifested in a myriad of creative ways and shared with lucky buyers from October 11 (International Day of the Girl) to December 24.

I hope A3 print (close up) - littlesisterco.etsy.com - $40 RRP

‘I Hope’ print by Little Sister Co

Cloud Stacker charm necklace - eachtoown.etsy.com - $45 RRP (lowres)

Cloud Stacker charm necklace by Each To Own

Our community spread the news through thousands of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts while our friends in the media shared the #makeforgood mission and the stories of many incredible Etsy sellers involved. At Etsy Made Local markets across Australia, shoppers donated thousands in gold coins and spare change to Plan volunteers, helping further the great work of our #makeforgood sellers.

Making good on #makeforgood

So how much did all this hard work and generosity raise? Drum roll please…an incredible $31,997!

Congratulations and a huge thankyou to everyone who got behind the #makeforgood cause – the makers, the buyers, the donators, the encouragers, the spreading-the-news-ers – the work and passion of the entire Etsy Australia community made this happen.

The team at Plan International Australia is as awed by the results as we are and asked us to share this message:

“What an incredible partnership! Since day one, ‪#‎makeforgood‬ has been about passion, inspiration and creativity. At Plan International Australia, we’ve been blown away by your constant enthusiasm and support towards girls in some of the poorest communities in the world. Your generosity will enable us to reach hundreds of girls and young women – they’ll learn new skills, and be given the support and opportunities to dream big. Whether you knitted, painted, or simply celebrated, we can’t thank you enough.”


Plan in action

The good news doesn’t end there. We’re also excited to announce which lucky (and hardworking) #makeforgood seller will be getting the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Cambodia to see first hand the work Plan is doing to help lift girls out of poverty, visit a remote community and participate in a skills exchange program with local women.

We invited the top 20 #makeforgood fundraisers to apply to take part, asking them to tell us why they got involved in the campaign and what they hoped to share with the community visited.

After much deliberation, we’re so proud to share with you that Sydney-based seller Hepzabeth Evans from Cleanse With Benefits was selected as the winner!

Silver heart soap in box - cleansewithbenefits.etsy.com - $14 RRP

Silver lined soaps from Cleanse With Benefits

Hepzabeth’s passion for the #makeforgood cause and her plans to share soap-making skills that aim to bring both economic and health benefits to the community visited impressed the selection panel, as did her eagerness to share the opportunity with the Etsy community.

In the spirit of generosity and community that underpinned the entire #makeforgood campaign, Hepzabeth offered to give the +1 place that formed part of her prize to another #makeforgood fundraiser. Amazing, right? So (cue yet another drum roll), Sonia Lyne from Dandelyne will be joining Hepzabeth on her #makeforgood adventure!

Hepzabeth and Sonia will be heading to Cambodia in the coming months, taking in the culture and history of the country (thanks to the generous team at Intrepid Travel) and visiting a Plan International program to meet the local community and exchange skills with entrepreneurial women just like them.

We’ll be sharing more of their journey soon so watch this space. In the meantime, please join us in congratulating Hepzabeth, Sonia and the entire Etsy community for the incredible efforts to help change the world for girls living in poverty.

To see more and shop the #makeforgood collection read this.

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