After one year of running an online, drop-shipping boutique, I made the decision to close the boutique and start new. I started my online store dropshipping products from various suppliers. My decision to close my boutique and pivot my business model stemmed from a conversation I had with one of my suppliers.
I’ll share some of that experience with you and the path I am carving out for my business to make a positive social impact.
What is Social Impact and why is it Important in Fashion
Social Impact is the effect an organization or business’s actions have on the well being of its employees, the community and society. The fashion industry in one of the highest polluting sectors globally with footwear being least sustainable. Businesses must have a positive impact on the environment, the people making the garments and the customers.
How to Ask Social Impact Questions
As a former drop shipper, it was important to me to know the supply chain garments I was re-selling. I wanted my customers to know about the manufacturing process of the garments. I contacted one my suppliers to asked several questions about the process. The questions asked were:
*who made garments?
*what are working conditions?
*do they get fair wages?
*how is the fabric was sourced?
These questions were not well received. Honestly, I was disappointed by the supplier’s response as we had a good relationship in the past.
How to Find Companies who are Transparent
I had been researching ways to be more transparent with my customers, and providing more behind the scenes of how the garments were made. What I learned from this interaction and my research, is that few companies are transparent with this information.
What Company Embodies Social Impact
Fortunately, I came across a few companies who shares their Social Impact very openly on their websites. It was impressive how transparent Nisolo was in explaining their social impacts. You can find the following categories that explain their Social Impact in detail, Impact Report, Our Factory, Partner Factories, Independent Artisans, Pricing Philosophy.
How to Find Out if a Company Cares About Social Impact
Here are some basic questions you can ask a company:
*Who made my clothes/shoes?
*Where is the factory located?
*Where can I find information about your company’s social impact?
*Are there children working for your company?
*Are you workers paid a fair wage?
*What are the working conditions of your employees?
The Change Begins with You
As consumers, you have the power to hold companies accountable for their practices. You have the right to ask questions about your purchases. Hold companies accountable to provide transparent and accessible information about their social impact. Take a look at Nisolo’s website to see how these questions have been answered. You can use them as an example that it can be done.
Let me know your thoughts on Nisolo’s Social Impact below.