In 2005, together with their five boys, Brigitte & Robert McKinnon embarked on a humanitarian trip to the jungle town of Pucallpa, in the Peruvian Amazon, to connect with two young girls they had sponsored to attend school. An eye opening experience, the family recognized a community in dire need of help, limited by a lack of access to education, housing, & healthcare. Returning home conscious of what felt like a forgotten community, the McKinnons & their five boys decided there had to be more they could do to help. Their solution came through the creation of the Pure Art Foundation, a registered Canadian charity, that would work to empower this community through health & education programs.
After a few years, in search of a sustainable business model that would help reduce the poverty throughout this community and bring dignity to other marginalized communities around the world, Brigitte & Robert turned to Fair Trade & its 9 principles as a solution to the struggles the Foundation sought to alleviate. Today, Pure Art, a not for profit Boutique & recognized Fair Trade Federation member in Canada, has become a hub for the Foundation’s initiatives & a place where consumers can connect to Fair Trade products from all around the world. The Art of Shopping with a Purpose™ is a model, beyond charity, that brings fair trade & sustainable development into a partnership that seeks to empower communities from around the world through the healing power of art.