On September 2, 2020, the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service hosted a talk by Jane Mosbacher Morris, Founder and CEO of To the Market and author of Buy the Change You Want to See: Use Your Purchasing Power to Make the World a Better Place.
To the Market connects suppliers of ethically made products that have been overlooked in the traditional marketplace to large companies. The company has created an avenue to provide women and communities access to capital and corporate retail buyers. Morris explained how she got her start working with communities she had visited in her previous career. During that time, she had noticed labor exploitation. Now, To the Market works with suppliers in over thirty countries around the world primarily in the retail industry. Clients range from companies providing luxury products, such as Bloomingdale’s, to those offering price conscious apparel, such as Target. To The Market assists these companies in advancing their own sustainable development goals through the procurement process.
Morris outlined her fascinating career path that started in national security and lead her to her current job in retail, an industry where she never expected to work. Beginning her career in the State Department, Morris specialized in engaging women on the issues of terrorism and counterterrorism. Her job provided the opportunity to visit Afghanistan, where Morris said, “A critical seed was planted in me of wanting to focus on the creation and sustaining of jobs for women.” A similar experience in Calcutta influenced Morris as she realized the powerful impact meaningful work had on trafficking survivors and its ability to produce healing.
Morris also expounded on her book, Buy the Change You Want to See. The book explains how conscious consumerism is for everyone, not just for people among a certain socioeconomic level or political ideology. The book speaks to how consumers can leverage their own personal spending to advance the specific values they care about.
Morris was asked to share a memory of her grandfather, Robert A. Mosbacher Sr., the namesake of the Mosbacher Institute. Morris described her grandfather as an extraordinary man and a great grandfather who modelled service. She also talked about how her great-grandfather instilled in her grandfather an understanding that they had a responsibility to steward their life responsibly, an understanding that has created a rich legacy.