Fashion and Philanthropy with Kristiana of The Cause Bar
FASHION AND PHILANTHROPY – The Cause Bar, founded by Kristiana Tarnuzzer, is an online platform dedicated to helping others discover philanthropic organizations and do-good businesses. The Cause Bar features ethical fashion brands, non-profits, and interviews with world-changers.
Prior to founding The Cause Bar, Kristiana spent 18+ years providing marketing expertise for brands and movements in the lifestyle and social impact sectors. Kristiana sits on the Regional Board for Indego Africa and Council for Alliance of Moms. She is also an Advisor to Treatment Trunk, and a member of the Social Enterprise Alliance. Kristiana Co-Founded a New York based charity nonprofit, and conducted several social impact journeys to under-resourced regions around the globe. Kristiana is an East coast native, but currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
We had the opportunity to interview Kristiana Tarnuzzer about starting The Cause Bar, and her journey to leading a conscious lifestyle.
When did you start The Cause Bar? What inspired you to create your platform?
After years of seeing my own friends and network want to get more involved and asking me how they can do it, to repeatedly seeing how generous people are during the holiday “give back season” and in times of need, I identified a need to unleash all of this untapped good in people wanting to give back, but needing a bit more guidance and inspiration on the “how to”. Upon our move from New York to Los Angeles in 2018, I committed to taking my knowledge and passion of the giving community to a larger audience by creating The Cause Bar, a destination and resource on simple, applicable ways to make a positive impact.
What is your go-to ethical outfit?
Anything vintage, and I’m also an Ambassador for Rent the Runway. I love the sustainability behind not buying excess items likely only to be worn a few times which results in contributing to the massive carbon footprint and landfill and waste already massively contributed to by the fashion industry.
What is your advice for people who want to shop ethically/sustainably?
To start, it’s really just being more thoughtful in our decisions. Asking ourselves questions like, “Do I really need this item?” and if you do, then asking, “How, where, and/or by whom was the item made, and how does that make me feel?” If not, there are so many beautiful options today of brands that are ethically and sustainably made.
What is your advice for involving little ones in giving back/serving?
I get this question a lot, and while my kids still err on the younger side (3 and 6 years old), the most impactful way I’ve seen the concept of giving back and being of service in them is through age-appropriate, honest conversations. Opening their eyes to new things and having some of the more difficult talks about real-life situations has been tremendous in implementing a real sense of empathy in each of them already.
What is your advice for businesses that want to start giving back?
Firstly, do it, or else you’re going to be left behind. Secondly, do it authentically, and not just as a marketing box to check. We already know consumers have been becoming increasingly more loyal to conscious brands, but they are becoming more highly aware and scrutinous, asking the right questions, and holding brands and companies accountable for utilizing their platform for good, focusing on purpose over profit, and being a part of the solution, not the problem.
Where do you hope to see The Cause Bar in ten years?
Well, admittedly, I’m not a firm believer in “5 or 10 year business plans”, as I learn the philosophy of needing to constantly evolve in order to stay relevant, but I can say that I do see The Cause Bar continuing to be a go-to resource in the social impact space. Even today, just one year in, we are evolving. Since our launch last year, The Cause Bar has supported an organically grown community in feeling inspired and educated on how to lead a more cause-focused lifestyle. The next level of the business is enabling me to merge my 18 years of brand marketing expertise with my deep relations, network and understanding of the philanthropic space to work with aspiring philanthropists ready to go deeper and more personalized in their impact.
Why is philanthropy so important to you?
For me, it’s been the most authentic form of experiencing life – to see transformative change in things that really matter way below surface level is one of the most exhilarating experiences, and why I’m so excited about this next stage of The Cause Bar.
How can people keep in touch with and continue to support you?