Name: Ayesha Barenblat
3 words that describe you: Passion, Empathy, Wanderlust
Your passion: Finding ways to create a world that is more just, equitable and sustainable for us and our future generations. I am moved by stories and movements that create less otherness and bind us together as humans.
Favorite book/film/media: Humans of New York photo journalism series.
Favorite food/drink: Biryani with a cup of steaming hot chai.
A snapshot of the future you want to see: I dream of a world of connected global citizens that understand the impact of our actions on one another and are moved to make a difference. Where we see the constructive role we can play as consumers and voters, at work and at home, in building a world that is more just and sustainable. Where every time we buy something we think about who made it, what their life is like and are inspired by this connection.
How you came to work in your field: While getting my masters at Berkeley, I was struck by how corporate responsibility was mostly taught from the brand side: on reducing risk and getting suppliers and local governments to adhere to codes of conduct. I spent my thesis collecting maker and supplier voices on being on the receiving end of conflicting brand expectations to meet insatiable demand for cheaper products sooner and faster while also respecting makers and the environment. I went on for the next decade to work across brands, governments, and nonprofits to create shared responsibility for the people behind our products.
Your work/project: I founded Remake to build a conscious consumer movement that preserves the well-being and dignity of the people behind our products. I believe in the power of film, technology and stories to build human connections across shoppers, makers and brands. Together we can create demand for sustainable products and spark a race to the top amongst brands.
What you do for fun: To me Remake is fun! its not a job, but more of a life calling. To write, talk about, dream about a world that is different.
Blasting dance music and have an impromptu dance party with my five and two year old.
Your inspiration or life-changing moment:
The first time I walked into a factory making clothes. I was struck by the incessant hum of the row after row of machinery, the hundreds of human hands working so hard and so quickly to put piles upon piles of t-shirts together. My relationship with shopping changed forever.
Favorite daydream: To pack up our family of four and move to a different city, beach or countryside every few months and have real connections with the people, food and culture.
Favorite memory: The day the doctor laid my son on my chest and I felt his warm skin against mine.
Favorite brand: Brilliant Earth. Rent the Runway.
Your (not so) secret wish: For there to be a magical speedy way for me to travel back and forth to see the family I left behind in Karachi and the family I built in San Francisco. I would love to live in a world where my past and future were better connected.
How you recharge: Sitting by the ocean, the bay or a lake to read and be still is my favorite way to decompress.
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