Beth Doane: Changing the World Through Education, Reforestation and Ethical Production
June 28, 2016
Photography by Natali Fiteni
Beth founded her first company when she was just 22 and launched exclusive European fashion across the United States. It was a dream job for most girls but Beth soon saw the human rights violations, environmental pollution and child labor prevalent in the industry. Determined to show that fashion could be produced ethically, Beth created her own line called RainTees by donating school supplies to children and featuring their artwork on every RainTee. Beth produced the brand sustainably and paid her factory workers a living wage \ while planting a tree for every item sold.
Today, RainTees has planted more than 30,000 trees and helped provide an education for youth in over 28 countries. While working in remote areas of Central and South America, Beth collected an array of inspirational stories that became her award-winning children’s book, From the Jungle, and her remarkable journey from fashion runways to replanting rainforests has captivated audiences at TEDx, the United Nations, Google, and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Beth has also been featured in National Geographic, Glamour,
In Style and other top tier publications and she created Andira Consulting in 2010, a rm that helps others grow their dreams while giving back.
Beth’s life changed when she realized that real fulfillment comes when we understand how every one of us has the power to make a difference and that the best way to do this is to follow what inspires us the most. Her inspiration came when she found herself working in some of the most remote areas on earth, from jungles deep in the Amazon to vast slums, home to millions of families in Africa. She was hugely impacted by the bravery of the people she met along the way that were fighting for their right to the things that she says she often took for granted - things like clean water and access to an education.
It was these things that led Beth to build giving back into her business model and become her life’s work. “It was seeing what is
happening in a place like Ecuador right now, where people are forced to battle massive corporations that have poisoned their homelands with billions of gallons of toxic waste and oil, that showed me how despite the tragedy we all are challenged with in our lives, we can all choose to work together with compassion, kindness and courage,” says Beth. It is also this “compassionate mindset” that Beth says will inspire generations to come. Beth describes education as “more powerful than anything else on earth when used effectively” and by teaching children about their environmental and human rights through modern technology she is determined to change the future for millions of children around the world.
Beth expanded RainTees reforestation and education work across Africa, specifically in Madagascar. As the forests in Madagascar continue to be destroyed, severe soil erosion has increased and is killing off sensitive marine habitats along the vast coastline of the country while farmers and fishermen lose their source of income and are unable to support their families. Beth witnessed how climate change has already negatively affected fisherman in places like Kenya and Costa Rica through RainTees projects that began as early as 2007. During the United Nations Rio 20 summit in Brazil Beth shared how education must be made a priority in rural communities so that people can have and create for themselves the opportunities that will lift them from poverty and preserve their homelands in the process. “We can’t solve the poverty crisis without also addressing the environmental crisis we face. These two issues are completely connected and need to be addressed holistically.” says Beth.
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About The Author: Jacqueline Romano