IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang
"REALLY, REALLY, RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE"
When it comes to using fashion as a force for profound humanitarian good, Lauren Bush has cornered the market. A trailblazing social entrepreneur, the former model devotes her full time efforts to her non-profit, FEED, launched in 2006, which sells iconic bags, shirts, shoes, and other items to raise funds to end world hunger.
Beyond FEED, in 2008 Lauren launched her own women’s fashion label, Lauren Pierce, with the mission of creating a sustainable production line that empowers women in Africa to engage in trade and start businesses.
She discussed with us the love, dedication, and experience that drive her to dedicate her work to fusing fashion with charity.
“As a child, my mom would take us to volunteer at soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Then when I was in college, I got the opportunity to travel around the world with the UN World Food Programme as their Honorary Student Spokesperson. This only further opened my eyes to the issues of hunger and poverty that so many face around the world. Approximately one in seven people in this world go to bed hungry every night. And hunger kills more than AIDS, Malaria, and TB combined. Hunger is a silent killer and something that deserves a lot more attention and aid than it gets.
“For me,” she says, “It is the people, especially kids, who go hungry every day that drives me to do what I do. There is such a disparity in this world between people who have access to food and clean water and those who don’t. It’s simply unfair that so many do not have access to something as basic and essential as food!”
By Carrie Loewenthal Massey