Building Community And Empowering Women One Bag At A Time

By : | 0 Comments | On : July 6, 2023 | Category : Business Venture

The present style trade is damaged. For many years, customers have chosen the newest traits for reasonable costs, on the expense of the underpaid, exploited, employees and it doesn’t must be that manner. However since 2014, Parker Clay has proven {that a} extra moral and sustainable style trade is feasible.

Drawing inspiration from Ethiopia’s cultural heritage, Parker Clay collaborates carefully with native artisans to create premium leather-based items and equipment that mix conventional strategies with fashionable design. Their dedication to sustainability is mirrored of their use of Ethiopian full-grain leather-based sourced from environmentally pleasant tanneries, in addition to our efforts to reduce waste and empower communities. Parker Clay’s product vary consists of meticulously handcrafted leather-based baggage, wallets, equipment, and residential items that showcase timeless fashion and distinctive high quality.

I lately had the prospect to speak with founders Ian and Brittany Bentley about how a dream of theirs was a Licensed B Company that can also be a Finest For The World winner, a recognition for being one of many high 10% of B Corps in a sure space. They emphasised that the guts of the model is a mission to empower susceptible girls in Ethiopia. Via their partnership with native organizations, they supply coaching and employment alternatives for these affected by human trafficking. By supporting these girls, they assist break the cycle of poverty and contribute to the betterment of their communities.

For the primary time, Parker Clay is inviting the general public to help its call-to-action by way of Regulation A crowdfunding. A part of the Obama Administration’s JOBS Act, firms, this regulation permits non-accredited traders to put money into personal firms.

Learn extra beneath for extra about Parker Clay from my dialogue with Ian and Brittany.

Christopher Marquis: Let’s begin at the start, how did Parker Clay start?

Ian Bentley: My spouse and I created Parker Clay in 2014. In 2011, our household visited Ethiopia for the primary time and it was simply us 4 – myself, my spouse Brittany, Parker and Clay (yep, their names got here first). In 2012, Ethiopia grew to become our house. We adopted our second daughter whereas residing in Addis Ababa, the capital metropolis. Whereas residing there, we labored with organizations empowering deprived girls by way of rehabilitation, expertise growth, and job creation. Assembly these girls and witnessing the transformation that may include only a teaspoon of alternative deeply moved us. We have been impressed to proceed rising this model to have a good time native supplies and Ethiopian craftsmanship and share it with a broader viewers.

Marquis: Are you able to say extra in regards to the services or products Parker Clay presents and what units the model aside?

Brittany Bentley: At Parker Clay, we craft premium leather-based baggage to offer dignified employment and uplift girls out of exploitation. We offer higher — higher baggage and higher manufacturing to make a greater world. Our merchandise are handmade with full-grain Ethiopian leather-based at our firm’s manufacturing unit in Ethiopia. First, the leather-based is sourced from native tanneries, we then start manufacturing: slicing, stitching, ending, and transport to our success location in Santa Barbara. We personal our whole provide chain, which permits us to create a extra sustainable enterprise mannequin.

One factor that makes us stand-out is that we don’t take shortcuts. We obsess over sourcing, stitching, and each final grain of leather-based, leaning into centuries of Ethiopian leather-working custom. Our baggage are constructed not simply to final, however to get higher with age — a declare we’ll again up with our Lifetime Assure. These baggage change lives at each step of their journey.

Brittany Bentley: Parker Clay has additionally been a Certified B Corp since September 2018. assembly the best requirements of verified social and environmental efficiency, transparency and accountability. Now we have additionally received “Finest for the World” for Group Affect the previous two years. The method isn’t simple, it’s a prolonged and detailed course of that for a lot of manufacturers ends with out certification, however that is vital because the rigor of the evaluation is what makes the certification so vital. It’s proof that what you say is what you do, and I believe that is one of the vital vital facets of the B Corp certification. We simply renewed our rating to 112, putting us on the high of the record by way of leather-based items productions worldwide.

Ian Bentley: And our staff are really a part of our enterprise. Certainly one of my favourite recollections is when a girl, now pricey good friend, Meselu got here as much as me at our manufacturing unit in Ethiopia and confirmed me her son’s report card. Her satisfaction and pleasure have been spilling out of her shining eyes – due to her alternative, she had been capable of afford to ship him to high school, and he had obtained straight A’s and was first in his class. It’s such an vital story as a result of it’s not simply the chance for ladies, nevertheless it’s reworking future generations.

Marquis: What’s the long-term strategic imaginative and prescient and mission for Parker Clay?

Brittany Bentley: Via rising our group and fundraising marketing campaign, we hope to create a long-lasting affect by way of sustainable employment for ladies in Ethiopia. We plan to construct new retail shops in a few of our key markets in 2023-2024; we’re tremendous happy with the expansion we’ve needed to date. We now have retail places in Playa Vista, San Luis Obispo, Denver and naturally our flagship in Santa Barbara. We even have plans for extra wholesale accounts in addition to collaborations with like-minded manufacturers. We simply moved into a brand new manufacturing unit in Ethiopia with room to develop and we plan on hiring extra girls.

Ian Bentley: Now we have additionally launched a fundraising marketing campaign that was impressed by the concept of constructing the group. Via our vertically built-in provide chain, we’re altering the style sport solely and dealing in direction of eliminating quick style. This thrilling new chapter for Parker Clay is one thing we would like our prospects to be part of. Because the starting, we constructed our firm on the foundational proverb that claims, “if you wish to go quick, go alone, if you wish to go far, go collectively.” The crowdfunding felt in step with this precept. Now we have constructed a group of shoppers who’ve helped scale our affect by buying merchandise. Via the crowdfunding marketing campaign, we wish to provide not only a product however the alternative for a monetary return. By democratizing the funding course of prospects can really make investments the place their values are.

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