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Olivia Wilde’s selfless journey in Haiti changed her life

Olivia Wilde had a life-defining moment in Haiti three years ago. She talks about her mission in the spring issue of Darling magazine.


Photo credit: Kathryna Hancock

Olivia Wilde might be engaged and pregnant with her first child, but that doesn’t stop her from thinking about others. In the spring issue of Darling magazine, Wilde talks about the moment that changed her life forever.

The Rush actress was in Haiti with her friend and business partner, Babs Burchfield, when a moment of harsh reality changed their lives forever.

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Wilde wrote in the op-ed piece, “We stood next to each other, cigarettes dangling from our mouths, rum burning our throats, hazmat suits covering everything but our sweaty faces, clutching a handful of rosaries each. We were aware of the unlikelihood of the moment — two white American girls working to bag bodies in a morgue — but this was Haiti, and we had come to expect the darkly unexpected. We were among a group of local volunteers who made this gruesome journey weekly, giving a dignified burial to the city’s discarded poor. The cigarettes were to mask the retched smell, the rum to ease the shock.”

That moment in time led the two activists to start Conscious Commerce three years ago after witnessing such tragedy in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The company’s mission is “to create a guide for conscious living by promoting the causes, brands, people and lifestyles that are forging a new paragon of living.”

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They have selected items for purchase in humorous categories like “Romantical Gifts” and “Hungover Hot Mess,” all items that are useful to someone’s daily life. Besides the commerce section of their website, Wilde and Burchfield dive deeper by having conversations with others making a difference in their businesses. They have also collaborated with designers for specific items to be used as fund-raising tools on specific charitable projects.

The spring issue of Darling is out now in retail stores like Anthropologie and Nordstrom. You can also purchase it here.

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