Updated Apr 04, 2018

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Sustainable Fashion Club: An inclusive, thoughtful community shaping the future of the retail and apparel industries

The Sustainable Fashion Club links the people and resources ahead of the curve in driving the movement against society's unprecedented levels of over-consumption and fashion waste.

http://sustainablefashionclub.org/
Allisonvicenzi fall17

Allison Vicenzi

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Stage 3: Proof of Concept

We host recurring events and collaborative projects addressing SDG #12: Responsible Production and Consumption. What started as a page on meetup.com blossomed into an offline and online community of 200+ people during the past six months. We organized seven events that ranged from small dinner get-togethers, company pitch nights, to a big happy hour of 60 people in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Our members range from start-up founders to small business owners to fashion designers to FIT students. We host different types of events every month to keep the group more interesting and engaged. Topics in sustainable fashion tend to be harrowing and negative, and we differentiate our group by always trying to focus on the positive and come up with action items to combat the negative. We've proven the concept through events, surveys, and online resource sharing.

Focus Areas:

Social and Behavior Change, Waste Management, Blockchain and 1 MoreSEE ALL

Social and Behavior Change, Waste Management, Blockchain and Supply ChainsSEE LESS

Implemented In:

United States

United StatesSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In
200
Customers
2
Employee

Problem

Fashion is one of the most polluting industry in the world, with fast fashion and mindless consumption driving 26 billion pounds of garment waste annually in U.S. alone. Many clothing items are discarded in the trash after an average of 7 wears. About 85-95% of that waste could be repurposed through proper disposal and/or recollection systems. It is important for us to raise awareness in the community about small-but-meaningful behavior shifts and action items that can create a lasting impact on this worldwide issue.

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Solution

We believe the solution will come through intentional collaboration and resource sharing. We've seen the fashion industry make progress in the past few years, but too often the research and progress are in silos. We aim to be the "glue" to streamline efforts and make 1+1=3.

Target Beneficiaries

We aim to reach community members not already invested (personally or professionally) in the sustainable fashion movement. We envision a future where "clean" shopping is as mainstream as the organic food movement. Our target audience for Phase 1 is passionate, engaged, optimistic millennials living in cities, aged 23-34.

Mission and Vision

We seek to be the “glue” to turn the sustainable fashion network into a community, and spread conscious consumption habits to the average consumer around the world. Members have consistently thanked us for what we are doing and offered to help take on new responsibilities. We had one new member come to a meetup straight from her JFK flight arrival; she commented after how hard it can be to meet friends with similar values, especially as an adult, and thanked us profusely for our work. We are motivated by the collaborations, job connections, customer discovery, event programming, and friendships resulting directly from our meetups. We strive to make each event unique and engaging, to hear directly from members why they joined and how we can help, and provide educational tools as well as emotional support for each and every member. This takes time and careful consideration, but the results are palpable and have led to exciting organic growth.

Innovation Description

Now that we have a solid base of 200 members and understand their diverse skill sets and needs, this next Innovation (Club HQ) will allow for continued interactions to bridge the gaps. We now know our ideas are in line with our members’ personal and professional missions. With our six months of testing and growth, and this positive feedback loop, we are ready to take on the next stage together with our members – equally driven, positive, ambitious and selfless women and men. We know we cannot achieve this alone. This funding would give us the monetary resources, as well as access to UN's leadership advisory, internal teams and platforms to help scale our initiative within NYC and then to other cities. We have a clear vision and we also know our own strengths and weaknesses as co-organizers. Help from proven leaders, along with funding to begin executing on our larger shared community goals, will allow us to reach wider audiences and drive quantifiable and scalable impact as a united team.

The Innovation (physical club space) will serve as a home base for members to work on joint projects and general community outreach beyond our existing members. This space would eliminate our main blocker for growth and would be dedicated for change-making events such as: thought leadership panels, focus and feedback groups for emerging brands, fashion shows, clothing swaps, content creation (i.e. photo shoots, videos, podcasts recordings, interviews), as well as a host for “clothing wellness” services, such as repairs and “upcycling” projects.

This type of space has been successful for other communities to grow loyalists through word-of-mouth and viral social media marketing. If successful in New York, we see multiple spaces opening in cities around the world, benefiting an even wider base of sustainable fashion entrepreneurs and consumers. We envision using this as a "franchise" prototype to scale and enable an even greater impact in communities around the world to improve the way we shop, share, repair, and ultimately recycle our belongings.

Competitive Advantage

We aim to serve as a bedrock for our community to flourish as a force to tackle the apparel waste and mindless consumption problem in sustainable fashion. Typical events and spaces are run by brands, but we see a unique opportunity to foster a brand agnostic, resource-driven community space. After all, the most sustainable materials are those which have already been produced (i.e. not new). We need to allow for non-branded events and gatherings to facilitate unbounded interaction and project creation.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We are looking for a space in NYC to centralize our operations and begin scaling to other cities (Austin, Seattle, LA), then Europe (Russia, France, Sweden). Scouting and securing a venue is the most time-consuming activity of our event planning process that cannot be automated or outsourced. Funding would cover rent for a space in NYC, so we can prioritize community building and event programming beyond just the "minimum viable." In short, this will serve as a bedrock for our community to flourish as a force to tackle the apparel waste and mindless consumption problem in sustainable fashion. Typical events and spaces are run by brands, but we see a unique opportunity to foster a brand agnostic, resource-driven community space. After all, the most sustainable materials are those which have already been produced (i.e. not new). We need to allow for non-branded events and gatherings to facilitate unbounded interaction and project creation.

The physical club space will serve as a home base for members to work on joint projects and general community outreach beyond our existing members. This space would eliminate our main blocker for growth and would be dedicated for change-making events such as: thought leadership panels, focus and feedback groups for emerging brands, fashion shows, clothing swaps, content creation (i.e. photo shoots, videos, podcasts recordings, interviews), as well as a host for “clothing wellness” services, such as repairs and “upcycling” projects.

This type of space has been successful for other communities to grow loyalists through word-of-mouth and viral social media marketing. If successful in New York, we see multiple spaces opening in cities around the world, benefiting an even wider base of sustainable fashion entrepreneurs and consumers. We envision using this as a "franchise" prototype to scale and enable an even greater impact in communities around the world to improve the way we shop, share, repair, and ultimately recycle our belongings. Membership


Funding Goal1,000,000
New Implemented CountriesRussia
Recruit2 management, 1 board, 3 associates, 1 intern

Milestones

Aug 2017
Created
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
United States