Wellington social enterprise Little Yellow Bird is seeking to scale its ethical apparel operation to the next level with an equity crowdfunding campaign.
Little Yellow Bird is aiming to raise $750,000 in equity crowdfunding. It launched four years ago and now supplies its ethically-produced uniforms to more than 400 organisations across New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Canada.
“Now we’re excited to launch our equity crowdfunding campaign, and bring on everyday kiwis as shareholders. The impacts of the global fashion industry are an issue for everyone and bringing more people along on our journey is crucial to our wider mission,” says founder and chief executive Samantha Jones.
Pledge Me’s Guenther answered some questions from The Register about the project.
You mentioned a few equity campaigns launching which aim to “make the world a better place, run by women.” Can you tell us about a handful of them and why they’re special?
Around half of our campaigns have female founders, which just sounds normal but when you know that only 4 percent of venture capital goes to companies with female founders you realise it's not! We have Samantha Jones running her current campaign for Little Yellow Bird, as well as Lisa King from Eat My Lunch preparing her equity crowdfunding campaign. Both have social impact at the core of what they do - Samantha creating ethical and sustainable fashion, and Lisa providing lunches for kids living in poverty.
We have a long history of strong women making a difference too - from Brianne West at Ethique creating solid shampoo bars to reduce plastic waste through to Alice Shopland who is at the forefront of vegan cheese in New Zealand through to Liz Rowe, founder of Ocho Chocolate in Dunedin.
What makes Little Yellow Bird such an exciting company?
The founder, Samantha, has such a focus on impact across the entire company. They do everything from ensuring their cotton is organic and rain-fed, and farmed in ethical conditions, through to reducing their plastic consumption with plans of turning any remaining plastic waste into furniture. Sam reports on the impact of the business, and also the things that she's learned along the way. We need to change the way we produce and consume clothing, and Sam is leading the charge.
What can other companies learn from the way Little Yellow Bird works?
I believe that we can learn a lot from Samantha both around focusing on impact as integral to business success but also continually measuring against that focus. Social and environmental impact shouldn't be an add on, it should be integral to the businesses we create if we want to create a planet that is inhabitable for future generations.