Social Trading

Social trading: Lord John Bird’s ‘One Million Tea Towel Challenge’.

As The Big Issue hits 25+1, social trading is the next big step. Founder Lord John Bird realised that we could help to change the world, one tea towel at a time…

I realised I loved tea towels; when they were clean. I realised how useful they are in the world.

I also realised that many people didn’t have a home. That the tea towel meant you needed a kitchen. To have a kitchen you needed a home. What use was a tea towel if you were homeless?

“I realised that beyond the symbolism, there was a means for helping a lot of people. Each sale could be useful. It was clear and very straightforward.”

You need to belong in the world. What about making a tea towel that was about making people happier in the world? Helping them to be useful. Helping groups working with those in need to raise money, by selling tea towels? That’s when I came up with the idea of selling one million Tea Towels at £5 a tea towel. With as much of the money as possible going back to helping people to help themselves.

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