How long have you been in business?
I launched TO THE MARKET in October 2014 at The ONE Campaign’s Women and Girls AYA Summit in Washington, D.C. Today TO THE MARKET partners with more than 30 artisan cooperatives in more than 25 different countries.
What does “sustainable fashion” mean to you?
“Sustainable fashion” embodies community and long-term growth for producers, as well as responsible and ethical production practices. TO THE MARKET seeks to increase sustainable fashion through market access, consistent orders, and increased sales for vulnerable artisan communities with whom we partner. Our long-term commitment to our local artisan partners means they are able to sustainably grow their businesses and economically empower themselves and their families.
What inspired you to start a sustainable fashion brand?
I was inspired to start TO THE MARKET after identifying the opportunity to connect vulnerable communities producing beautiful products with businesses and consumers seeking social impact goods.
What is your company’s mission?
TO THE MARKET’s mission is to economically empower vulnerable communities through artisan enterprise. We achieve this by having an extensive network of artisan cooperatives employing survivors of abuse, conflict and disease around the world. In partnership with these artisans, TO THE MARKET helps them scale by facilitating sales to businesses and consumers, amplifying their stories and building their capacity.
What’s the most challenging thing about running a sustainable business?
A majority of our artisan partners are based in developing countries where we often face dynamics outside of your control. For example, we have a number of partners in Haiti that are producing for us currently. When Hurricane Matthew hit in Fall 2016, we wanted to first check on the safety and well-being of our partners. We then moved on to exploring how production and shipping would be impacted, if at all. The key to handling challenging operational dynamics like this is putting the well-being of our partners first and then over-communicating to our clients about how what we have promised them may or may not be impacted.
Just For Fun
What’s your favorite color?