You will, for example, find the cutest handmade cards from women in the Philippines who were victims of human trafficking or vases made of recycled material by a group of women in India. The clothing pieces are made of organic and sometimes even recycled (rain jacket) materials and the chain of manufacturing is transparent so that the buyer knows from where exactly the piece came from. You can see that most of the items have a social conscience, a history.
I think, especially in our fast consumerist society, it’s important to pay attention to elements like these when buying something. Before we purchase things, we should ask ourselves: Who made this? Where does it come from? What is the real cost?
Last week, I finally went back to the Modu Shop with my camera to take some pictures of the beautiful setting while Amy was telling me the stories behind the items. I did capture some pictures of her and her contagious smile and I asked her a few questions:
I am sure you get this question a lot, but what does Modu mean?
Modu means “All” “Everyone” in Korean. I love the word as it is simple and meaningful at the same time
How did you come up with the idea of opening this concept store?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so I think it was definitely in my blood. ☺ I have always wanted to be a social entrepreneur that can do business and give back in some way. The Modu Shop was a natural result for me as it allowed me to amalgamate design, purpose, philanthropy and a touch of quirk all in one.
How do you select the items you showcase? What are the criteria?
For over a decade, I have been following brands/companies that are socially and environmentally conscious. Most of the brands I carry are brands where I was myself a customer for many years before opening the shop. My criteria is very simple, it needs to look and do good. Every brand that I carry must have a positive impact. This impact can be environmental, proceeds to charity, fair-trade, social projects, etc. However, this is not enough as design is also very important to me. Something can be for a great cause but if you don’t like the design it will most likely end up in some corner of your closet collecting dust. I don’t want that as to me this is unnecessary consumerism and can produce more waste. Ideally, I want my customers to really like (dare to say love) what they purchase in the shop and the extra bonus is that through the purchase, they are helping others.