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I’ve always been passionate about sustainability and making this world a better place: I eat organic, avoid buying over-packaged goods, always remember to bring my reusable bags to the supermaket, etc. And of course, I’ve always been against fast fashion: I’ve always bought clothes that are classic and timeless, and have a lifetime warranty. If something doesn’t look like it will last 10 years it doesn’t even get in my cart.
In the last few years I’ve tried different entrepreneurship ideas (most of them social enterprises), but none gave me the confidence I needed to feel like I could truly be successful in selling my products or services – and as any entrepreneur knows, a business goes nowhere if you’re not capable of selling! In January of 2019 I was contacted on social media to become an influencer for an ethical fashion brand. Upon browsing their website I discovered that they were looking for sales agents. As I thought about working in this field I realised that it was something I felt 100% confident when selling.
A few weeks into this new career and I already have clients and daily email requests for representation. Sometimes you just need to try a lot of different things until you find what truly is your passion. And when you do, sales is not a challenge or chore, but rather something that comes naturally and effortlessly.
Maira Bay de Souza
1. Social is essential
We believe that people, profits and planet can coexist in a business environment without compromise. We think that the social enterprise business model is not only the future of capitalism, but also indispensable if we want to leave this planet in livable conditions for our future generations. We can’t afford not to be social!
2. Excellence, not perfection
That being said, we understand that nobody is perfect, and each person or business is at a different stage in their journey towards a more sustainable presence in this world. We believe that positive reinforcement, questioning and encouraging change is much better than shaming and negative criticism.
On the other hand, we understand the perils of greenwashing and social washing. We only work with companies that are genuinely interested in making an impact in the world. We ask thorough questions before taking a brand/artisan under our wings. All that information is published on our website (on each brand’s profile).
How We Work
Our mission is to grow the ethical fashion market, by matching the right brands and artisans with the right retailers and distributors.
For brands and artisans, that results in getting their products in front of laser-sharp target customers, increasing their sales and their impact.
For retailers and distributors, that results in faster-selling products and less time wasted searching for tefa-textand vetting brands/artisans.
How we choose brands and artisans
We work with ethical brands and artisans to grow their impact on the planet and society through increased sales. We also help brands and artisans who are genuinely interested in making their products more ethical.
We start by asking through and extensive questions to understand their materials, processes and business practices (this also encourages them to request transparency from their supply chain). For those who are just beginning their ethical journey, we also help them understand where they are and what could be the next steps.
After all the information is clear, we work on finding retailers/distributors who have the same values as their products. This means their products will be sold to a more targeted audience, increasing sales efficiency.
How we choose retailers and distributors
We help ethical retailers and distributors grow their business by reducing the burden of searching for and vetting brands and artisans. We also help regular retailers and distributors, who are genuinely interested in ethical fashion, to start selling to that market.
We understand that each retailer/distributor has their own values: some stores only sell products made out of natural fabrics, while others only sell those made out of vegan fabrics. Some only sell products handmade by women, while others will accept selling products made by both genders, in factories that provide good working conditions. Also, different retailers/distributors will have different definitions of what is “sustainable”, “ethical”, “fair”, etc.
We learn about each retailer/distributor, understanding what their values are, and what words like “sustainable”, “fair”, etc mean to them. This way, we know if a product will fit in their stores or not, before even presenting it to them. That reduces the time the retailers/distributors spend finding and selling products.
How we place products
The beauty of ethical fashion is that there are multiple ways to be ethical! Because of that, we do not have a set of values for the products we carry. Instead, we work to make a match between the values of brands/artisans and the values of retailers/distributors. That match is done automatically by our website based on the values of each brand/artisan and retailer/distributor.
If a brand manufactures handbags out of recycled plastic, we will not show them to a retailer that only sells products made out of natural fabrics. And we won’t show them with a retailer that only sells handmade products either!
We hope this has clarified how we work to chose our brands/artisans, retailers/distributors, and make a match between them. If you still have any questions, you are welcome to contact us.