In 2002 at the age of 18, I embarked on my biggest travel adventure before starting university; a four-month visit to Taveuni, Fiji where I lived as a local teaching at a small island school.
Leaving my pampered home life to share living quarters with rats, cockroaches and lizards was quite a culture shock! No sign of an en-suite; just an outdoor cold tap for a shower and a bucket to wash my clothes in. However, nothing was going to faze me - this was an experience I had dreamt of since my early teens, so despite or even because of this, I spent a happy four months on the island, relishing in the challenge.
The people of Taveuni, Fiji are still to this day the happiest and most content community I have ever experienced. They live in tin huts, eat food from the land, have limited schooling and very limited health care but are content with their lives. However one of the main issues that concerned me, was that some of the children on the island could not attend school because they could not afford to buy uniforms or bus fare.
When I left I vowed that I would give back to this community that shared all they had with me, despite having so little. They had made me feel completely at home in their village and taught me so many life lessons. The trip made me realise that anything can be achieved as long as you are determined and believe in what you are doing.
This inspirational trip in part, helped me put my ideas of designing and running my own business, in motion. So, in 2008, I created Beaumont Organic with a small line of simple t-shirts, ethically made and produced using organic cotton.
The Beaumont Organic Foundation would follow, with fundraising each year (around £200 - £350) supporting the children of Taveuni attend school. In more recent years, the government on the island have stepped in and are ensuring all children are subsidised for schooling, which is fantastic. In light of this, we now support the amazing Loloma Charity who does incredible work with the local hospital, providing much-needed health care to the people of Taveuni.
1% of our profits from 2017 have been set aside to send along with all the money we aim to fundraise in September.
To celebrate Beaumont Organic's 10th birthday (and one year birthday at our shop) we will be hosting a special party at our concept store in Manchester at 49 Hilton Street on Thursday 1st November.
All profits on the night will go to the foundation, plus in-store exclusives and the chance to learn more about our contemporary conscious ethos.
I would love to invite you to join us! Please book your place here.
Alternatively, I would really appreciate any donations to the charity through our JustGiving page.