Interview with FEED Projects' Lauren Bush Lauren
We've teamed up with fellow changemakers FEED Projects to create a hat that not only empowers women, but provides nourishment to children in need. Every product purchased from FEED Projects provides 10 school meals to impoverished children as a way of breaking cycles of poverty in communities around the world. FEED Projects' global mission is one we've admired for a long time, so we were ecstatic to team up with them in creating a beanie that is truly a symbol of change.
Read our CEO & co-founder Kohl's exclusive interview with FEED Projects' founder Lauren Bush Lauren below, and read Lauren's interview with Kohl on FEED Project's blog here!
Hi LBL, does anyone call you LBL?
As a matter of fact, most of my fellow FEED-ers at the office refer to me as “LBL.” It gives my hand a break when signing letters!
Any other nicknames we should be aware of?
Not to my knowledge, but I’m a sucker for a good nickname – let me know if you come up with any!
Do we have a secret handshake yet?
That was a trick question. Don't answer that. ;)
Why focus your energy and life's work toward the issue of global hunger? Where did this passion come from?
I was raised with a high importance placed on giving back and helping others who are less fortunate. In college, I had the opportunity to travel as a student spokesperson with the UN World Food Programme and witnessed first-hand what hunger and malnutrition look like. Seeing the faces of the kids who had never known life without food insecurity, constantly wondering where their next meals would come from, broke my heart and birthed in me a dedication to become part of the solution.
Is there a brief story you could share about the impact of your work that sticks with you and encourages you to keep pushing forward?
A moment that has really stuck with me was on a trip to Rwanda with our partner at the time, Whole Foods. We had just learned that sales of our bags from that partnership had raised enough money to provide school meals to all the children in Rwanda for one year. Getting to meet some of those children was a really emotional experience for me and my team; And one I will never forget. I think that’s when I knew we could really move the needle on hunger through this model.
I always say that when we started KK intl. there wasn't a vocabulary for the idea we've come to know as "social entrepreneurship," which was similar for you. What prompted the combination of fashion and social good for you? I’m sure you feel the same, but I’m so glad conscious consumerism and social business have entered the Zeitgeist, and appear to be the new way of doing business—not just in niche categories. Like KK intl., I founded FEED at a time when this terminology was unheard of which posed somewhat of a challenge, but also really highlighted the need to inform shoppers that their decisions in the marketplace matter. Personally, I’ve always been interested in design. FEED is the alignment of my two passions: hunger activism and fashion. I'm so happy for you and David to join the parenthood team! Has prepping for parenthood changed the perception of your work in any way or your perspective of it? The parents on my team have always told me that having children of their own helps them feel the weight of what we do at FEED everyday in providing meals to kids. I’m already starting to feel that now. I want to live in a world where parents never have to worry if their children will have the nutrition they need to grow and thrive. That’s what gets me out of bed every day. Where will the FEED Projects + KK intl. beanie come in most handy for you this winter? Seeing as I’ll have my hands full with my new little bundle, I foresee it being my go-to accessory for quick strolls around the city and dashes in and out of appointments. FEED Supper recently ended. Could you tell us about what it is and the impact it created this year? FEED Supper is a month long activation beginning on September 16 and ending on World Food Day, October 16. By hosting a Supper and fundraising – just $1.10 provides 10 meals to children and families around the world – you can make a huge impact. This year, we set out to reach 2 million meals during the activation period and thanks to all who hosted, we reached our goal! What was one of the highlight meals you ate last month? There were so many amazing Suppers I was fortunate enough to attend, it’s hard to choose just one meal! Being a vegetarian, my meal options are somewhat limited, but I was so impressed by the unique veggie-friendly creations at each Supper.