We are accepting applications for our SOCAP23 Entrepreneur Program! Apply here by February 17!

6 Ethical Fashion Entrepreneurs

SOCAP Global September 26, 2022

Meet These Social Entrepreneurs On Stage at SOCAP22

SOCAP22 offers opportunities to connect and collaborate for change, and our Entrepreneur Program gives innovators from around the world the opportunity to pitch their ideas on stage. The entrepreneurs selected this year — see a full list here — will share their incredible solutions to pressing social, cultural, and environmental programs at SOCAP22, and have other opportunities for learning and connection before the event.

Below we share more about six entrepreneurs making a difference globally in ethical fashion — from creating sustainable livelihoods for small business owners to designing environmentally sustainable products. Register for SOCAP22 to hear more from them and others in the Entrepreneur Program bringing the most innovative solutions around the globe to scale!

Tierra & Lava

Lucy Ashman

What is the focus of your venture?

Tierra & Lava is a triple-bottom-line (people, planet, profit) business that creates natural skin and hair products inspired by ancient Mayan remedies and wisdom. We offer the experience of conscious care with quality ingredients, genuinely green principles, and social impact. 

What impact is your company creating in the world?

We partner with 65 small family farms in 25 rural communities in Guatemala whose incomes grow as our business grows. Our short-term goal is to support 200 family farms by 2025. We are Fair Trade certified and provide a sustainable living income that keeps family members together so they do not need to migrate to find work. Our quality ingredient blends combine science and Mayan wisdom to keep centuries-old traditions alive. We buy as locally as possible, making 93% of all company expenses in Guatemala.

We are constantly striving for zero waste. Through our recyclable and reusable packaging initiatives, we reduce our use of plastic containers and by 2025 will keep 47 tons of plastic from landfills.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

We are looking for strategic partnerships and grant funding for construction, sales team resources, and working capital to help us get started.

Trendy Seconds

Maria Burgos

What is the focus of your venture?

Trendy Seconds helps women become more responsible consumers by offering a curated selection of pre-loved clothes and new sustainable styles from dozens of sites in a single online destination and at no extra cost to them.

What impact is your company creating in the world?

Our impact focuses around four UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Goal 8, Decent Work & Economic Growth: Reduction of overall material footprint.
  • Goal 12, Responsible Consumption & Production: Achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources. Target related to reduction in the material footprint.
  • Goal 13, Climate Action: Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation.
  • Goal 15, Life on Land: Increase the number of new trees being planted globally.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Let’s become a powerful driving force by collaborating to create positive impact, inspire other businesses to follow the triple bottom line, and empower consumers to align their values with their their everyday choices.

NEMI Teas

Pranav Chopra

What is the focus of your venture?

NEMI Teas is a London-based tea company and a social enterprise. We focus on empowering refugees by providing them with employment and leadership opportunities in our manufacturing and distribution of tea across retail and wholesale channels in the UK and Europe.

What impact is your company creating in the world?

We have direct impact metrics in place that allows us to monitor and manage our employment initiative. They include quantitative measures, such as the number of refugees employed, and qualitative measures, such as the change in refugees’ quality of life. We recently launched a café in Central London called TRAMPOLINE where we run a six-month training and employment program. Graduates advance to full-time employment with one of our catering partners. Through this café and our plan of scaling to 14 cafes over the next five years, we anticipate empowering over 1,200 refugees.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Have a cuppa and create jobs!

Né Nepal

Ishu Dhakras

What is the focus of your venture?

Né Nepal is a social enterprise rooted in Nepali culture that helps champion the rich traditions of its artisans across centuries. We are a culture-focused design studio that co-creates with more than 40 Indigenous artisan groups and serves the growing global collective of conscious consumers.

What impact is your company creating in the world?

Né Nepal is building a model for slow commerce in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and in contrast to the rush of fast fashion. We prioritise working with Indigenous artisan communities to help build capacity through skill development and training. We aim to especially include vulnerable women artisans who are the last practitioners of unique Nepali crafts and need continued support from income security to marketplace access. By increasing employment opportunities and involving more youth and women, we hope to help build their incomes and broaden recognition and respect for Nepali crafts and culture in the marketplace. 

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

We are a Nepali social enterprise looking for partners across capital and operations to scale up our producer-centered community commerce model.

LIKHA

Nathalie Lim

What is the focus of your venture?

LIKHA is a retail/wholesale brand that brings modernized artisan home goods and fashion accessories to markets around the world. Our mission is to provide sustainable livelihoods to community-based artisans in the Philippines through access to markets that realize the true value of their craft while preserving culture and tradition.

What impact is your company creating in the world?

We measure our impact based on livelihoods sustainably supported annually. Since SOCAP21 Virtual, we have more than tripled our number of artisan partnerships. We currently support roughly 350 families in 20 communities at revenue levels of $440,000, impacting more than 1,500 lives. We aim to support close to 2,000 families in the next five years through market expansion (supporting our existing artisan communities in training and growth) and product expansion (tapping into a more diverse set of artisan groups across the country). As we scale, we plan to reinvest a portion of profits toward community development, which we hope will further increase the depth and quality of our impact.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Celebrate the resilience of our partners in underprivileged communities through the challenges of 2020 and beyond.

Pezzy Pets

Mike Mitchell

What is the focus of your venture?

We work with artisanal fishermen in Mexico to turn the tide against the invasive armored catfish, aka the “devil fish,” and upcycle it into limited-ingredient pet treats that are good for pets and the environment. We have also begun to process other invasive fish species like the lionfish and bluestripe snapper in the U.S. and Mexico.

What impact is your company creating in the world?

We are currently a two-person team in the U.S. managing sales, marketing, and distribution with two people in Mexico who supervise the production and logistics of fish processing and pet treat manufacturing. We also have a team of five fish processors, and source fish from approximately 10 fishermen in Mexico. Our team members in Mexico have increased their earnings by an average of 40%, and fishermen often double or even triple their daily income by selling us their devil fish. We’ve helped to remove more than 80 tons of devil fish from waters across Tabasco, a Mexican state.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Share resources and help one another thrive.

Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy / Responsible Sourcing / Scaling with Values / Social Entrepreneurship
Join the SOCAP Newsletter!