Small World….BEAUTIFUL BUSINESS

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IOWEYOU Rethinking Fashion. A Very Beautiful Award Winning Business

IOWEYOU Rethinking Fashion. A Very Beautiful Award Winning Business

ImageIOWEYOU is an internet enabled community-building tool, seeking to link customers emotionally to its brand values, created to satisfy the need to empower both the artisan and the consumer. It was Winner of the Source Award 2012 for Street / Casual Wear.

IOWEYOU is a great project which puts the ethical and sustainable into fashion. Described as a new business model for ethical fashion, here is a short piece which might help to give perspective about IOWEYOU

‘The idea was to rethink the entire chain: to create a new one that allows goods to be produced and sold and serves everyone involved’

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I do believe we do not need any more businesses in our planet except the ones that solve real problems

 Kavita Parma

 

Kavita Parma says …’This project grew out of my frustration as a designer with the current fashion system that had turned into a RACE TO THE BOTTOM, to make things faster and cheaper. It did not protect excellent craftsmanship or artisanship nor did it make better quality. The idea to nurture BIG DESIGN- not just making things beautiful on the surface but truly designing the eco system around their production to make it sustainable not only for the planet but for the people involved, was at the heart of our search.

So in 2010 we started working on the idea as a small experiment in our flagship store. To create a collection that was made keeping in mind the needs of the artisans, us the designers and of course the consumer. How could we be sustainable and at the same time create a unique product that would give the client something really well crafted. Give them an engaging human experience which helps decommoditize the product

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MISSION: To decommoditize Fashion, to bring back the conversation from PRICE and QUANTITY to VALUE and QUALITY.

 THE IOU PROJECT is born from the need to empower both the Maker and the consumer by celebrating artisanship and uniqueness using the full scope of Modern technology. We believe that when business is carried out with true transparency and authenticity it can elicit extraordinary reactions and foster a shared sense of responsibility from its customers, partners and suppliers towards each other and the environment

 I am a self-taught Designer and serial entrepreneur. Born in India and educated in India and England. At the age of 18 while attending university, I started my own studio working as a freelance designer for various international clothing brands. Then in 1995 at the age of 23, together with my partner I started Authentic Gear, an Indian venture that secured the exclusive license for India of the well-known children’s wear brand Osh Kosh B’Gosh. As Creative Director, I was responsible for the design and manufacturing of the Osh Kosh B’Gosh collection for the Indian market. I was also the chief architect of the award winning advertising campaign and in- store retail product merchandising. Authentic Gear pioneered and introduced the concept of retail franchising in India and grew to operate 14 retail stores in India. The company was later sold to a large Indian conglomerate.

 Also in 1995, I became a partner in Elanco limited, a design and product sourcing company based in Hong Kong that manufactured apparel in the Far East for large retailers and wholesalers worldwide. In Elanco, I worked extensively with artisan communities and large scale manufacturers in the region and developed product in multiple apparel categories from sportswear to high-end designer wear, acquiring a vast experience in technical product development and supply chain management. I sold the business in 2000 to move to Madrid together with my husband and partner Iñigo.

 In 2001, I launched my own clothing collection under the label Raasta, a range of women’s ready to wear contemporary collection. Domestic distribution of Raasta quickly grew to over 150 independent retailers and high end boutiques. Following the success of Raasta, I launched a second label Suzie Wong, a collection of women’s designer evening wear manufactured in Europe using couture like artisanal techniques and sold to high end boutiques and retailers. In order to support the business growth, in 2006 Maison Raasta acquired its own manufacturing and logistics infrastructure assets including: a 12,000 sq ft embroidery and sewing facility in Delhi, India, and a modern 10,000 sq ft warehouse and logistics platform located in the Spanish French border. From 2007 onwards, Raasta and Suzie Wong have been distributed internationally and participated in the most important industry trade fairs including: Bread & Butter Berlin and Barcelona, Who’s Next Paris, Trannoi Paris, Paris Sur Mode, D&A New York, White Milano, London Fashion Week, etc.

  In 2009, Maison Raasta set up its Flagship store in Jorge Juan street Madrid, in the heart of the premium shopping district.

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How It works? Every item made has a link to someone and can be sourced. IOU is based around seeing faces, knowing names and understanding the personal stories of those we buy from and those who make. Knowing the back story enhances the trust between consumer and business, emphasising the traceable, transparent, authentic, unique and designed nature of every product. The IOU Project produces handmade apparel based on fabrics hand woven in India. Because each textile is unique, the end buyer is provided with the ability to trace the production process from finished goods right back to the weaver that hand-wove the fabric. The stories of how that item was created, of the people involved, of the customers who purchased them, are the essence of the  e-commerce social network which The IOU Project has built as a meeting place for a community that shares our brand values of authenticity, transparency, uniqueness and both social and environmental responsibility.

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I have included their BLOG which might come handy here http://blog.iouproject.com/?p=1490

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This entry was posted on 12/12/2012 by and tagged , , , , .
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