Aloha is the spirit of love and fellowship that Amy Connelly weaves into each piece of her eco-friendly beachwear and Turkish towel lines at Shaka Love. What makes this Turkish towel so impactful is not just its weave, known for being quick drying and superabsorbent, but more importantly, buying one of these towels contributes to water conservation and equity across the globe.
As it turns out, towels soak up way more water than we thought. Manufacturing a single regular cotton beach towel requires 3,000 gallons of it! That amount is enough to sustain a person for ten years (!), yet, in many parts of the world, clean water is so scarce that each hour hundreds of people die for lack of access to it.
Amy isn’t content merely to spare water in production, she wants to see that it sustains life the way it’s meant to. For each purchase of one of her Turkish towels, customers contribute to One Atta Time, a non-profit that supplies small villages with water filtration systems, teaches the residents how to use them, and continues to follow up with the villages’ progress periodically.
Her sense of community extends to her network of fellow female entrepreneurs, who come together to support and promote each other. She is inspired by, and hopes one day to work with, Autumn Pelletier, a 13-year-old activist from Alaska who is showing people the water shortages the United States experiences in its own backyard.
Having grown up on the golden beaches of Hawaii and San Diego (including where the new Top Gun movie beach scene was filmed), Amy knows how precious water is and that lack of access to it is a real crisis. Her response, again, is to foster a sense of love and fellowship. She encourages people to educate themselves on issues of water conservation and to donate to organizations dedicated to water. It is, after all, the essence of life.
Off-camera, Amy and Dax also discussed the rise of water investors, with people like Michael Burry (made famous by the movie The Big Short, with Steve Carell) making big investments in water.
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- “A jumbo jet’s worth of people die every hour from lack of clean water.” (0:18-0:24 | Dax)
- “The water crisis is real. It’s not only based on lack of general water, where a lot of areas are generally dry, but the lack of clean drinking water is really serious. It’s the number one killer of children under the age of ten.” (0:49-1:07 | Amy)
- “I’ve been in a lot of meditative prayer over this and contemplation on how I can have this towel really make an impact, not only on saving water, but in terms of what I could do. And what came to me is that I wanted to give back, I wanted to give back that 3,000 gallons of water in some way.” (8:06-8:45 | Amy)
- “Every morning when I wake up, I really take a few minutes in that mindful prayer time and just ask for guidance, for grace, for wisdom. It’s really important to me.” (11:28-11:43 | Amy)
- “Water is the essence of life. Without it, we can’t survive.” (14:01-14:04 | Amy)