Olivia Wilde Takes Aim At World Poverty

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Olivia Wilde has started a rather fascinating new business called Conscious Commerce. Via the company's website, people purchase items they would likely buy elsewhere anyway--such as a pair of shoes--but the companies linked to Conscious Commerce are all businesses that give back. For example, if women in an impoverished village in Africa make baskets or bracelets that are bought and sold via a company in the U.S., Wilde believes wholeheartedly that those women should receive more than the pittance many companies pay to receive their goods. She believes they should benefit far more for their efforts, and through Conscious Commerce sees to it that they do. Other companies not directly related to those who produce their goods have committed to donating a portion of their proceeds to worthy causes.

"It should be shocking when a product isn't somehow helping the people who made it," Olivia Wilde said during a recent interview with Forbes.

Although her company is relatively new, she has already paired with some pretty impressive businesses to get her efforts off and running full speed ahead. Anthropologie--known for clothing, gifts and housewares from around the world, has arranged with a company called New Light India that makes some of the company's best selling women's dresses, to donate a portion of the dress sales to a school for girls in India. Other companies are slowly, but surely, jumping on board as well.

Wilde has long been involved in philanthropy, however she found that soliciting funds from rich donors was exhausting--not to mention thankless. She believes that encouraging companies to give back and explaining to them how giving not only benefits worthy causes but ups consumer's overall impression of them for the act of giving back--is a win-win situation. So far that's proving true.

This isn't the only way Olivia Wilde works hard for others either. She is working with the new mayor of New York City on children's rights.

It's amazing to see someone like Olivia Wilde--a Hollywood actress known for roles in films like Her (in theaters now) and Rush, and on TV as Thirteen in the hit series House--using her time, money and notoriety to serve those far less fortunate. Expecting a baby with comedian and actor Jason Sudeikis, Wilde could instead be living the lush life--sitting back and attending baby showers in her honor, and ignoring the perils of world poverty. She serves as an upstanding example for all of Hollywood.

Image via Wikimedia

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.