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Style Destino is my personal style space bout cruelty-free and vegetarian style. Fashion is not above someone's life and it is irresponsible when someone makes a fashion choice that involves taking a poor animal's life. I believe in style that has a conscience. We are in 21st century where technology has advanced immensely, there are myriad options available and any person with a desire can make things happen. So it is sheer selfishness and irresponsible behaviour when people make unethical fashion choices. Through StyleDestino I share everything cruelty-free and ethical in my style. I do not use any handbags, shoes or accessories made from leather (animal skin), the make-up I use is also vegetarian and cruelty free. Luxury and compassion can coexist stylishly and Style Destino is an attempt to prove just that. Vegan fashion is not about dowdy clothes, cheap bags, or tawdry shoes. I can just easily be vegan and trot in my Olsen heels, sporting a Stella McCartney luxurious vegan handbag while showing off my red lips painted with OCC lip tar!! I travel the world around and never find dearth of stylish, high quality vegetarian fashion.

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Are your investments destroying the planet and exploiting people & animals?


 Sustainable Investing India - Ethical Investing - ESG
Are your investments destroying the planet & exploiting animals? 

You’ve ditched single-use plastic, you carry your own bag to the supermarket, shop from zero-waste supermarkets and thrift, rent, or borrow when it comes to fashion, right? But what about your investments? Does your portfolio follow the same sustainable and cruelty-free principles as your lifestyle? It's time to put your money where your mouth is.

When it comes to making the world a better place, investing isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But it should. If you’re investing your money in companies that are polluting the planet, and exploiting its beings you’re funding them to continue exploiting the planet, people & animals.

As conscious citizens, we should avoid financially backing companies or industries that negatively impact people, society and the environment, this includes avoiding companies engaged in:
  • animal testing (like pharma and beauty companies) 
  • animal cruelty, factory farming, or dairy production
  • violating human rights including but not restricted to child or forced labour
  • arms and munitions  
  • tobacco and alcohol 
  • gambling and pornography
  • polluting the planet and have a high level of carbon emissions (like mining, oil & gas, and fashion companies)
  • businesses involved in tax avoidance, accounting or remuneration controversies. 
Invest your money behind companies and sectors that have a positive impact, citing energy efficiency and renewables, tackling waste, innovating plant-based foods, and other sustainable businesses.

Fortunately, with rising interest in sustainability and veganism, there's been a growing demand for ethical investing options. 

The most popular of them is ESG investing. ESG stands for the Environmental, Social, and Governance factors that play a role in sustainable investing. It's a practice that values companies that do everything from the level of carbon emissions to the number of women on the board and the quality of disclosure on executive pay to ensuring labour laws are being upheld.

Another popular concept is socially responsible investment (SRI). SRI is an investing interest strategy in which investors develop strategies and standards to invest only in companies that strive to abide by acceptable social values. These can include companies making a positive sustainable or social impact, such as a solar energy company, and exclude those making a negative impact like mining and oil & gas companies. SRI tends to go by many names, including values-based investing, impact investing, sustainable investing and ethical investing.

ESG is a bit broader term compared to SRI. So simply having an ESG label doesn't guarantee that the fund is an ethical one or made investments in responsible companies.

What are my sustainable investment options:
  • SRI or ESG mutual funds 
  • ESG exchange traded funds (ETF)
  • Creating a customised portfolio handpicking companies that align with your values
  • Socially responsible and impact investing private equity funds (for high net worth individuals)
  • Social or environmental goal-specific funds or bonds like Fidelity Water Sustainability Fund focusing on clean water or VanEck Vectors Green Bond ETF that invests in green bonds.
A green bond is a bond whose proceeds are used to fund projects that promote sustainability

But what about my returns? 
I'm sure this must a lingering question on your mind. It’s possible to make money while helping build a better world. 

Various research has proven that companies that lead the way in governance and sustainability tend to outperform over the long run. In fact, most investors agree that ESG issues are a crucial factor when evaluating the financial health of a company.

In fact, according to a 2019 Morningstar study, “41 of the 56 Morningstar’s ESG indexes outperformed their non-ESG equivalents (73%) since inception (Source).

Ethical and sustainable investing is a very wide area. What actually constitutes an ethical investment varies greatly from person to person because each individual has different values. For example, if your top priority is staying out of companies involved in animal cruelty, your portfolio whould steer clear of companies that -
  • manufacture or serve food or beverage items containing animal products 
  • manufacture or sell clothing that involves killing or harming animals (e.g., leather or fur) 
  • manufacture or sell products that use animals for experiments breed animals for food production and/or animal testing
  • manufacture or sell products that include animal ingredients (like beauty, paints and pharma)
However, such a person could still invest in companies engaged in the business of tobacco or alcohol. 

My two cents? Don't worry too much about the labels - sustainable investing, ethical investing, ESG, SRI, purpose-driven investing. Simply filter what to invest in based on your values and what matters to you. 
Many investors refuse to invest in companies that conflict with their values. They may avoid investing in “sin stocks,” or in companies engaged in the business of meat, tobacco, alcohol, and gambling, or companies that make weapons.

So let’s give a second look at your portfolio and ensure you’re not funding companies that are doing bad and support and rewarding companies that practice the values that are important to you.
 Invest in a portfolio that maximizes returns, and helps build a better world.
Vote with your wallet!

P.S. – I am a finance professional, working in the world of investing and stock markets for over a decade.
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