The birth of Relate Bracelets is a unique story indeed, and starts with a vision of co-founder Lauren Gillis.
Born and raised in Johannesburg, Lauren was instilled with a strong commitment to humanity and social justice from an early age. She studied social work at the University of the Witwatersrand, and has dedicated herself to helping others for more than 30 years, through forming businesses and philanthropic organisations committed to supporting individuals in reaching their greatest potential. These organisations include the Down Syndrome Association of the Transvaal, People for Awareness of Disability Issues, and, of course, Relate Bracelets.
For some time, Lauren had had a vision for a new project or initiative that would help people in need of an opportunity to better their circumstances, while connecting people with causes they believe in. The things we too easily take for granted – an education, employment, a measure of independence – are by no means guaranteed, and for many people, the prospect of a better life seems out of reach. Her vision for Relate was to use the making and selling of simple bracelets to create opportunities to change lives. Relate enables upskilling and earning opportunities, for young and senior bracelet-makers to improve their situations.
Lauren had been searching for an opportunity to fulfil this vision, and that opportunity came in the form Nando’s and Nando’s CEO, Robbie Brozin. She approached Nando’s to buy Nando’s branded bracelets for their 6000 employees in honour of their 21st birthday. The making of the bracelets created earning opportunities for unemployed single mothers and enough money was raised to feed 21 vulnerable and orphaned children – all of which was done in the name of Nando’s for a year. During an expedition with Kingsley Holgate, Robbie Brozin became passionate and determined to focus on alleviating malaria, a preventable and curable disease. And so it was that Lauren created Relate’s very first cause bracelet for United Against Malaria. Since then Relate has continued to make bracelets that are 100% for good. They have helped raise funds for over 52 causes, created earning opportunities for over 250 people and sold over 1000 000 bracelets.
Relate has made it simple for people to give back and support causes that they believe in. You can also be part of the Relate movement for change and together we can make a difference. How can you do this? By buying Relate bracelets, and stacking and sharing your favourites, you enable us to make a real difference in people’s lives, and contribute to our movement for change. This is your opportunity to be a change-maker; made simple for you.