Clean Water for Bangladesh through Japan's Shining Example of Creative Social Business
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The above image is from a mail order catalog that will soon go out to Felissimo customers in Japan, so they can order the awesome clothing and home products made from the Hope fabric that I designed that is handwoven in Bangladesh. The page on the left shows these necklaces that are made from the fabric scraps to reduce waste and the little pendant is a golden bicycle wheel. What does a bike wheel have to do with hope and Bangladeshi weavers? Well, as it turns out — a lot. With money from the “Infinite Hope Fund” created by this fabric project, several of another Japanese product known as Cycloclean — bicycle-powered water filtration systems — will be given to the Bangladesh community. In fact, the company that designed Cycloclean, Nippon Basic, will apparently be starting up production in Bangladesh to save money and improve the local community at the same time. I just found this out Tuesday night.

The realization that what was already a super cool collaboration to provide Bangladeshi weavers with jobs (and incidentally there are now 300 weavers employed from this project alone, up from 30 before) is now unfolding into a focused effort to increase access to clean water significantly, and that this innovative generosity is coming from a country who suffered its own incredible natural disaster in March of this year that is still reeking havoc on its economy and physical environment, not only touches my heart, but also strengthens it and reminds me that big, important changes can happen and are, and inspires me to keep looking for ways to be a part of it.

If you catch yourself feeling pessimistic about the world we live in and where it’s going, or your own life even, just change what you’re paying attention to. There is so much to be proud of and happy about. Noticing that and experiencing it on a personal level can make all the difference in the energy you have for your own challenges, as well as to those around you. We can’t do anything when we are dispirited, but when we enjoy the meaningful successes in the world as our own, then we have the hope of the world behind us and everything we need becomes possible. On that note, dear Japan: Domo Arigato Gozaimasu. Thank you so much for your inspiring gifts to everyone. I love you and hope that 2012 will be an amazing year for you as a nation as you recover from the earthquake of 2011. Read more about Cycloclean via physorg.