Friday, June 9, 2023

What Does it Take to be a Sustainable Entrepreneur?

With more women entering the business field, it only makes sense that more women are also becoming entrepreneurs. Learn how the women in this article got started and set the standard for sustainable entrepreneurship.

The fashion industry has gotten a wake-up call from the planet and the people to find ways to be more circular. Luckily, there these women entrepreneurs who have taken the lead and empowered more people to get on board with sustainable fashion. Dominique Drakeford who’s bringing self-love and sustainability to everyone regardless of where you’re from, Arundhati Kumar who’s making sustainable accessories, Sophia Amoruso who took the sustainable root and sold vintage clothes on eBay, Olivia Palermo who partnered with Dress for Success, and Marie Kondo who teaches everyone to be more organized and not overbuy products. So which entrepreneur will inspire you to reach your dreams?

Dominique Drakeford

Drakeford has a bachelor’s in Business Environmental Management and a Master’s in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Fashion. If anyone knows how to bringing sustainability into the business world, it’s her.

Drakeford has over 10 years of working on new ways to redefine the ideology of sustainability practices. She has also worked as a youth leader and a woman empowerment mentor. As an entrepreneur, she’s worked with different companies to understand the problems with system-based thinking and work through those issues to create better practices moving forward

Her own company, Melanin and Sustainable Style (melaninASS) works to celebrate sustainability as well as feeling confident in your skin regardless of skin color and promoting natural beauty. Just as it’s important to make our planet better, it’s just as important to feel confident in our own skin.

“We are bringing melanin to the forefront of sustainable fashion, beauty, living & land justice!”

Dominique Drakeford

Multiple magazines have featured Drakeford as a sustainability writer such as: Nylon, Fashionista, and The Cut.

Drakeford is also a co-founder of Sustainable Brooklyn. Due to this, she’s able to help bring sustainability to communities that don’t have the means to be sustainable.

 “We are committed to fashionably fostering the evolution of sustainability to create an inclusive future for all.”

Dominique Drakeford

Arundhati Kumar

Arundhati Kumar founded Studio Beej, a sustainable Indian accessory store. After coming back from a trip to Austria, she started Studio Beej. She became an entrepreneur when she realized that she wanted to work in sustainability and to find better alternatives to leather. 

They sell clutches, wallets, handbags, work essentials, and other small accessories. Recycled materials are used for the fastenings and trimmings while all other materials are made from cork and piñatex. To decrease waste from products, all of them are made per order.

Natural resources from the chemicals and dyes used on the products and to make the boards that structure the bags biodegradable, they use pine cellulose.

Studio Beeji has zero waste and zero plastic packagings. Products come in a jute dust bag, the box the products come in are all from repurposed materials. Even their business cards are from repurposed materials, so every part of the order is reusable.

They set their employees up with subsidized housing and medical insurance as they believe all employees should be treated fairly.

“Sustainability for us is not a single action but a filter we apply to every decision we make.”

Arundhati Kumar

The website has a list of all their certifications if you want to learn more.

Sophia Amoruso

Have you ever sold or bought anything from eBay? It’s a great way to bring in some extra cash or to find something new to add to your life. Well, one woman went from selling vintage clothes to making enough to start her own business and inspire young women all over the world. That woman? Entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso.

Amoruso started out selling clothes to raking in $250K in just the span of three months. As a result, Nasty Gal was founded. Then Inc. Magazine named it the fastest-growing company in 2021. Nasty Gal is a fashion women’s retailer. She did everything from styling, photographing, captioning, and shipping the products herself. How did she even have the time to do all of that? 

Then she launched Nast Gal as its own website. However, she then stepped down as the CEO of Nasty Gal and moved on to her next aspiration.

That aspiration was Girlboss Media. A company that caters to millennia women to progress in their personal and professional lives. Amoruso held weekend-long events for young girls who want to become an entrepreneur and follow their ambitions.

Adapted into a Netflix series, she has an autobiography called #GIRLBOSS. There’s also a workbook filled with tips and fill in the blanks for you to fill out. The purpose is to use this book as a diary to relieve stress or let your creativity flow through.

On her girl boss website, she says,

“To create a new reality where women can make progress personally, professionally, and in service of others.”

Sophia Amoruso, Girlboss website

Olivia Palermo

Palermo is a fashion influencer and an entrepreneur who started her career on an MTV show called, “The City.” Then she appeared on “Project Runway” as a guest judge. 

In addition, Palermo has collaborated with many brands such as Westward leaning where she designed a line of sunglasses that would donate a percentage of sales to charities like  Association for Development, Alternative Commerce, and Micro Credits’s Masaai Project. 

Her current partnership, Dress for Success, is a not-for-profit organization that works to empower women to be economically independent. For instance, this organization provides a support network, programming, and other tools women will need to learn how to be successful in and out of work. Their services currently include 30 countries. As a result, about 76% of women who complete the program are hired within 90 days.

Everybody stay tuned in. Olivia Palermo is releasing a clean beauty makeup line! This beauty line will be dropping on May 6th. So far the lineup will consist of four products: illuminating serum, mattifying mist, matte lipstick that has three shades to choose from, and two eyeshadow palettes. Could May 6 come any faster?

Moreover, Palermo has brought sustainability to the runway, as she partnered with Tommy Hilfiger, who leads the “Make It Possible” sustainable initiative. You can find the dress by following this link to her website. What a great way to promote being a sustainable entrepreneur. She took to the green carpet in a sustainable orange gown. Palermo commented on the partnership by saying,

I am proud to be a part of this initiative and to show others how stylish it is to dress green.”

Olivia Palermo

Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo is a Japanese consultant who’s an expert at helping people all over the world declutter their stuff and learn to make the best organizational choices for the future. As a result of her loving to tidy up, Kondo started this business as a university student in Tokyo at the age of 19. 

As a result, she’s a #1 New York Times bestselling author for, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” She says that if you properly tidy up and organize your room once, you never have to do it again. I think that’s something we can all learn. This entrepreneur has also received the title of one of Times Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the world. 

On her website, she lays out the top 6 rules of tidying up your room. So how do her methods coincide with sustainable living? In fact, once you follow her guidelines and notice how much unnecessary stuff you have laying around the house, it’ll put into perspective just how wasteful you’re unknowingly being. 

Once you’ve recycled or donated the unwanted items, you’ll be able to see what a difference it can make. You don’t need to have a lot of stuff lying around the house. However, learning these tools can help you make more sustainable choices moving forward.

People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.

Marie Kondo, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”

By following in the footsteps of entrepreneur Dominique Drakeford who’s bringing self-love and sustainability to everyone regardless of where you’re from, Arundhati Kumar who’s making sustainable accessories, Sophia Amoruso who took the sustainable root and sold vintage clothes on eBay, Olivia Palermo who partnered with Dress for Success, and Marie Kondo who teaches everyone to be more organized and not overbuy products, we can all work together to bring more sustainability to our lives whether it be through shopping sustainably, or after the fact.

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