Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.
Disclosure: I received a free sample to aid in the writing of this post. All words and opinions expressed are my own.
Lingerie isn’t a typical topic on my blog. I don’t typically get that personal. But today, I’m happy to share with you that even when I’m at home working in sweatpants, I’m always wearing nice underwear. There’s something about a good thong and a pretty bra that makes me feel good. Empowered even.
Well, guess what? I’ve found a lingerie company that gives back and empowers women with every purchase, in more ways than one.
Empowered By You is a new luxury lingerie brand created by the Seven Bar Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to empower women throughout the globe via microfinance. (You may have noticed their inclusion in my recent Gifts That Give Back guide.)
The idea is simple: individuals are provided with small loans to start or grow small businesses, allowing them to become economically self-sufficient, provide for their families for the long-term, and replace dependency on limited donor funds. The rungs of the Seven Bar Foundation logo represent the loans -– a ladder that allows impoverished women an effective and self-sufficient exit out of poverty.
When I was first contacted by Empowered By You, founder Renata Mutis Black described her product as “the perfect everyday panty with patented flocking technology for a seamless second-skin fit.”
I still don’t know what “flocking technology” is, but I can tell you that the panty is super comfortable. The material reminded me of a thin bathing suit and really didn’t feel like I was wearing anything at all. (OK, now I’m blushing. Back to the philanthropy stuff.)
Renata tells me that 20% of Empowered By You’s profits go directly to the Seven Bar Foundation. From there, The Seven Bar Foundation distributes loans to “outstanding microfinance institutions across the globe.” While I’m used to hearing about microfinance organizations that help people in developing countries, Seven Bar Foundation also aids women in the United States (see the country breakdown below).
Here’s a breakdown of Seven Bar Foundation’s impact to date since its inception in 2010:
Seven Bar Foundation Microfinance Fund distribution by country
- USA: $160,000 disbursed reaching 186 women
- Mexico: $50,000 disbursed reaching 1,300 women
- Guatemala: $100,000 disbursed reaching 135 women
- India: $77,000 disbursed reaching 434 women
- Sri Lanka: $15,000 disbursed reaching 85 women
- Colombia: $45,000 disbursed reaching 160 women
Total Distribution: $447,000 reaching 2,300 women and approximately 4,600 (this is calculating a conservative 2 children per woman, though in many of these countries women take care of as many as 8 children in each household)
I’m told that loan recipients have a 97% repayment rate.
The sample thong that I received helped Joy, who lives in the United States and was empowered by a microloan of $1,470 that helped her start her own cupcake business. According to the packaging, Joy is now a mentor to other women. You can read some of the testimonials on the website.
How you can get empowered:
- Purchase an Empowered By You panty
- Share your story of empowerment on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by using the #empoweredby hashtag
- Get involved with the Seven Bar Foundation