The Arena

The Arena is a curated marketplace of ethically made products that exists to champion the lives and stories of the person behind the product.

The Arena invites people to contribute to change in their everyday life by rethinking consumerism. It’s about believing that each purchase you make has the extraordinary potential to create a future you feel proud to live in. The Arena provides the most tangible way for people to use their purchasing power for good.

The Arena was created out of a desire to see an end to modern day slavery. I, Katie, founder of The Arena, spent some time traveling and immersing myself in different cultures across the globe. I heard stories and dreams of people that will forever be ingrained in my memory. I also saw a lack of equal and fair opportunities available to those living in impoverished communities first-hand. I couldn’t leave those experiences unchanged from what I saw, or even what I felt.

After coming back to states and doing some research, I found that the fashion industry was identified as the second leading cause of modern-day slavery. Did you know that researchers estimate that there are around 40 million people enslaved today? It’s also estimated that 50% of those people are enslaved through forced labor, i.e. garment workers.

Then it hit me, why can’t the problem also be the solution? What if we started asking questions about who makes our clothes… where, how and from what? Are they made under fair working conditions and treated with dignity? When we start asking those questions and caring about the person behind the product, I truly believe we can help end modern-day slavery.

And that’s how The Arena came about. I found companies that cared about the livelihood of the person making the product. Companies like 31bits, Known Supply, Half United and Youme. I partner with these companies to bring an all-inclusive ethical marketplace to you, the consumer.

It’s time for The Arena to go mobile. To move from a pop-up table to a mobile pop-up experience. I have found THE bus. All of my Magic School Bus dreams coming true… if you know, you know.

The challenge is that I need your help to raise $25,000. The money we raise will buy the bus, cover the road trip to bring it to San Diego and any mechanical issues, refurbish the bus to become The Arena, and the move into the wholesale market.

I am beyond excited to be here and to be inviting you into this space with me. I truly believe that we can begin to see an end to modern-day slavery when we start rethinking consumerism. And we can ask ourselves that singular question... "who made my clothes?"

CLICK HERE for a slideshow created for Pitch Night at FLDWRK where I won the "People's Choice" award!


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Katie Stuart 
San Diego, CA

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