Meet Intern Thea Ma!

Meet Intern Thea Ma!

posted in: News, Team Members | 0

Q: Who are you?

A: I’m Thea, and I’m currently studying at McGill University, majoring in Economics, and minoring in Statistics and International Development.  Throughout the course of my degree, I’ve taken many courses in Environmental Economics – essentially studying the balance between profit and the planet.  As a result, I have a particular interest in Corporate Social Responsibility.  This summer, I interned  for elope!

Q: What did you work on this summer?

A:  I put together a final report to document elope’s current level of social and environmental consciousness, and to recommend how elope can improve its commitment to its people and the planet in the future, while maintaining a profitable business.  I also helped write web content for elope’s new website’s section on corporate responsibility.

Q: What did you learn?

A: I think my most important takeaway from this project is that corporate social responsibility is tough!! There are so many intricacies to business that make it very very difficult to make sweeping changes while remaining financially solvent.  I researched a few larger corporations that are trying to become more socially responsible, but at the end of the day, most of them still prioritize keeping prices low.  Larger corporations also have so much red tape to cut through to make even the most incremental changes.  For me, that has been very frustrating and disheartening to learn, but as a result, researching elope has been refreshing!

Since a commitment to fair trade has been in place since elope’s founding, it doesn’t have the same problems that many other companies have when it comes to manufacturing.  Elope also has a very rare relationship with its factory, Huadu.  A lot of my research involved looking at “model corporations” in the social responsibility sphere, and many don’t come close to doing as well as elope when it comes to their responsibility to the people in their factories, because they simply do not have as strong of a partnership.  On the other hand, they do do better than elope in some other areas, so it has been really fun and interesting learning how these industry icons operate, and recommending ways elope can improve its fair trade and sustainability practices as it moves forward.

Q: What is your favorite winter food?

A: Cheese

Q: What’s your favorite thing to sip in the summer?

A: Melted cheese

Q: You’re happiest when…..

A: eating cheese

Q: What are two things that make you laugh?

A: Videos of animals being ridiculous – pigs, red pandas, baby goats, dolphins, geese, cats, dogs, all of them!

Q: What is your super power or hidden talent?

A: I can out-eat anyone.

Q: What is your favorite elope, Inc. wearable so far?

A: My dream is to one day have a pet pig.  Since that’s pretty far-fetched, I like to dress as one with elope’s Piglet ears!  Having grown up with Harry Potter, I’m also a huge fan of the new Hedwig and Marauder’s Map scarves.

Q: What is your favorite song, or music?

A: Anything Disney – old, new or in-between.  From A Whole New World to Let it Go to High School Musical (1, 2, and 3), I love it all.