Clairity: How One Company's Using Fashion To Support The World's Water Crisis

"Get creative, be purposeful, and change lives."

Clairity is a series introducing readers to new fashion and beauty products from brands our host, Claire Peltier, believes in. These products not only help readers look and feel good, but have a positive impact on the world, the environment, and hopefully the user's self-image, too.

For Jay Richards, the fashion industry isn't just about providing consumers with a product — it's about making the world a better place.

One day, while scouring YouTube, Richards came across a video narrated by charity: water founder, Scott Harrison. Charity: water is a non-profit organization that brings clean drinking water to people in developing countries throughout the world – a daunting mission given that 1 in 10 people around the world lack access to clean water. Moreover, diseases from dirty water kill more people per year than violence — including war. 

With knowledge of the water crisis, Richards decided to launch Broken Chain, a brand with a collection of chain-inspired necklaces where 20 percent of sales go towards charity: water and their efforts. 

"My dream is to provide 1 million children with clean drinking water through Broken Chain," Richards tells A Plus in an email. "At home, I have the number 1,000,000 written on the first page of my journal as a constant reminder of the difference we can make."

By providing communities with safe water, we can not only help them sustain life, but we can provide them with time, education, and empowerment, among other benefits.

For example, a report from UNICEF and the World Health Organization says that almost three-quarters of those homes without access to drinking water rely on women and girls to collect the water. This means that their time is limited, and girls may miss school. 

So, "when a community gets water, women and girls get their lives back," charity: water explains. "They start businesses, improve their homes, and take charge of their own futures."

When asked about Broken Chain's design aesthetic, Richards says that it coincides with their name. "I wanted the chain to link directly back to who we are," he says. Their slogan, "chains sold, chains broken," alludes to the fact that their brand aims to break the chains of poverty. 

"I was bouncing brand name ideas off a friend and he kept saying 'no' to every single one. Annoyed and with my head resting on the desk, he asked [me] a simple question: "What're you trying to achieve with your brand?' And I replied, 'I want to break the chains of poverty over people,' and then I jumped up and shouted 'Broken Chain' and we realized we had a winner."

In February, Broken Chain donated its first $2000 to charity: water, with the hopes that the number will grow by the end of the year. 

For those who want to make a positive difference but need a place to start, Richards reminds us of the power of a donation. From there, if you're looking to build a brand, consider how you can support a charity through your work. 

"The opportunities are endless. Get creative, be purposeful, and change lives."

For those interested in buying a piece from Broken Chain, use code "APLUS" to get 25 percent off. 

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