What does “sustainable fashion” mean to you?
It means looking good and feeling good at the same time.
As a customer, I used to think that fair trade and sustainability is so far away and is the responsibility of big companies. But ”sustainable fashion” makes doing good easier for everyone.
By purchasing from sustainable and ethical brands, I know that I am doing something good either to the environment or to people in need. I might be helping a woman to safely give birth to her child, I might be helping a man to get paid and support his family, or I might be helping a kid to be able to get an education.
I am wearing nice clothes or shoes, and at the same time, positively changing people’s life. That is a great feeling.
What is your company’s mission?
Give people around the world access to Mamahuhu products, because every time we open another shop or increase our online sales, we can positively impact more lives by supporting more workshops.
Who is your customer?
Men and women between 18 and 35 years old. They care about quality, style and individuality.
What is something you wish people knew about sustainable fashion?
Besides having a positive impact on the environment, sustainable fashion is also about having a long-lasting positive impact on communities.
At Mamahuhu, we believe in the old saying of ‘teach a man to fish, you feed him for a life’. Therefore, instead of employing artisans to work for Mamahuhu, we provide a micro-fund to artisans from disadvantaged areas, help them to get equipment, find workers and set up their own workshops. Later on, when their workshops grow to certain size, we help them to register as legal companies that pay taxes and offer insurance and social benefits to their workers. In this way, we help communities socially thrive on their own merits, work pride and sense of accomplishment.
What’s the most challenging thing about running an ethical shoe business?
One of the biggest challenges is how to balance social values and fashion style within marketing. When focusing on social values, the style and quality of the products might be overshadowed, and what triggers the purchase from customers is in the end, the product. However, when prioritizing the style and quality of the products, the social values might be neglected, and this is a very important part for us, and what makes us stand out. In one way, it is both a privilege and a burden to run a sustainable business.
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