Ethical business Thraedable currently have a Crowdfunding campaign. Please check it out here: http://bit.ly/thraedable2
Ethical business questionnaire With Thraedable
What is the name of your business and what does it do?
Our social enterprise is called Thraedable. The name derives from threads, as in clothes, and threads, as in conversations on social media. It represents the fact that we wish to thread the world’s communities together through the clothes that we sell, and the magazine that we publish on our website. Thraedable thus aims to raise awareness about social issues that suffer from invisibility or misrepresentation and to raise funds for grassroots organisations that offer sustainable solutions to these issues. We are an ethical fashion brand, currently producing t-shirts and bags inspired by drawings made by people who face little-told social issues; as well as an online magazine to inform and raise awareness. Our business model is based on our 50 Threads scheme: 50% of our profits are shared with our partner NGOs.
What inspired you to start your business?
We (co-founders Cristina & Aghiles) met at university, during our Masters programme at Sciences Po Paris and both had a background in international affairs, studying a vast array of topics and injustices. We felt the need to shed light on social issues that do not make the headlines, because while the media focuses on a limited number of social issues, others go untold, leaving the groups who suffer from them without a voice. This information gap often results in a funding gap for grassroots organisations that are best placed to offer valid solutions to these issues but have little “marketing” capacity to reach big donors. Then Cristina (co-founder) thought of how art transcends languages, and thus borders, which could be then translated onto t-shirts which people could wear thereby amplifying the voices of those who wanted to get their message across. And, because we partner with these NGOs then they of course deserved to get the same amount of profits as we do – so a 50/50 share.
Where do you hope to see your business in 5 years’ time?
Well, the next step is to launch the boutique to start supporting the projects implemented by our partners hopefully after a successful crowdfunding campaign between 5 June and 5 July. In the longer term our dream is to make the biggest impact possible on the groups supported by our partners so within the next 5 years we want to have enough funds to launch more rounds of projects so that we can continuously be able to support grassroots NGOs that do amazing work. From a business perspective, growth would mean producing and printing ourselves, so that we can have true oversight of the printing process from A to Z, that way we can stay as ethical as possible. In the long, long term (so beyond 5 years, or maybe less!), we dream that Thraedable can become an example for other companies, as a way to establish a meaningful link between the private and the NGO sector.
How do you market your business? What is your preferred method of marketing?
Well for us, as a pre-revenue company with no financial backers nor bank loans, the marketing budget is very tight. For now social media and some bloggers are the best chance of exposure, and we have to lean a lot on friends and family to get the word out! We will be perhaps advertising a little of Facebook soon, as we have been told that that is the most price effective way of reaching your desired audience.
If you sell items where do you sell? Online, in store etc. What is your most profitable
Avenue for sales?
So we will be selling from the start of June during our crowdfunding, and then start of July almost exclusively on our online boutique. For now this will be our only channel but we will be approaching shops to discuss the possibility of stocking our products to be able to reach an even wider audience!
What advice can you give to people looking to start or are in the early stages of their own ethical business?
We believe that adversity is something that every entrepreneur has to face sooner or later. It is crucial not to give up when facing adversity, while turning difficult moments into opportunities to think critically about what one is doing and to find space for improvement. Otherwise for an ethical business we have some specific tips:
- Never forget your social aim. Having a positive impact is and should be at the heart of social enterprise. Being committed to what you do will help you overcome adversity.
- Use your network, it is always full of great resources! And approach NGOs that share your values, as they are a lot of them time very willing to help and have a good network too.
- Look out for advantages and funding opportunities for social entrepreneurs. The world is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of social enterprise.
All our details:
Crowdfunding page: http://bit.ly/thraedable2 (Will be launched June 5th)
Email: email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org