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(USA TODAY) ActressOlivia Wilde, who left her rich-and-beautiful life behind to volunteer inHaiti, writes in a new magazine piece about the gruesome scenes she and her business partner found there, and how it changed them.

Writing in the spring issue ofDarlingmagazine, Wilde and her partner, Babs Burchfield, explore their experience, which led to the founding of their company,Conscious Commerce.

"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," they write in one section.

"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."

Haiti, which is still suffering from the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake, has been the focus of several celebrity efforts to help the nation recover.

Wilde and Burchfield returned home determined to invest in an alternative way to raise funds for good causes. Thus, Conscious Commerce, which they describe "an experiment in living (and shopping) with a conscience."

"This is our attempt to be useful humans, and we'd like to share what we've learned so far," the two write on their website.

"Along with pointing you in the direction of cool, ethically sound businesses, we have paired some of our favorite brands with small, locally run organizations, to create limited edition products. These exciting collaborations are our way of bringing together consciousness and commerce, and making them make sweet, sweet love," they write.

Darling, which is sold at retailers such asAnthropologieand Nordstrom, is an ad-free magazine that touts itself as an "artisanal" kind of women's magazine, aimed at reshaping the way that media represent women and girls. Produced mostly by women, the magazine promises that photos are never photoshopped.

The spring issue is out this week.

By Maria Puente, USA TODAY

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