Collaborative World Brand is a social business fashion line that uses the term "co-profit" to describe its model. Through the sale of apparel, Tyler Carroll and Dave Goodman are able to raise funds to benefit nonprofit, which varies each season, allowing them -- and their customers -- to support a number of different causes.
In the interview below, Collaborative World Brand's co-founder Dave discuss what it's like running the social business, where their idea came from, and how they keep themselves inspired.
4 Questions with Dave Goodman, Co-Founder of Collaborative World Brand
1. How did the idea for the business model come about?
When Tyler and I sat down to dream about doing business together, we had a ton of ideas. The one theme that kept coming up and dominating the discussion was giving. Not just a little bit though. It needed to be impactful, sacrificial and outside of what most companies give. We were compelled by the amazing work non-profits do to make the world better and more loving. We wanted to help them do more. We recognized that like most people, we couldn’t give up everything we had to move to Uganda to build water wells, nor do we have the experience needed to free women from sex trafficking. However, we knew people who have done and do these things daily. Collaborative World allows us to be a part of their story by doing the things we already know how to do – make apparel. To strengthen our commitment, we felt that only by becoming 50/50 could we show that we valued their work as much as our own.
2. How did you decide to join this sector?
Initially we figured we would become a non-profit that exists to support non-profits. We realized right away (practically the next sentence) that it would make no sense to do that. We’d be competing for the same resources, just to distribute them back. No – we were going to be for-profit and give whatever it was we could away. Our call to the for-profit world is not to simply give more financially. We want to encourage relationship investment with those on the front lines of change. Whatever it is your business is good at, there are non-profits that could use your expertise.
3. How do you get your inspiration?
People. Everything is about community, and learning how to admire, respect and take care of people. There is so much talent out in this world that it makes our heads spin. That’s what inspires us each day. It even plays out in our style. We try to keep a raw, vintage, and even used look to our design. Like people, objects have a history and story all their own. It can’t be faked. You can make something new look old, but it’s not. You can tell. Our stories make us unique. We want to make your story, as beat up, dented, and raw as it might be, and make it something special.
4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
Typically the entire team is creating a running catalog of images, styles, photos, etc. that are currently inspiring them. When we are gearing up for a new season, we put everything on the table. We go through each image and each song, pulling out the ones the give us the most impact. Every time, without any direction, a story begins to unfold. One season we had a very nautical feel to the line. Our current season has a very California, vacation, road trip aspect to it. We break things out into concepts, build a playlist of music and send it out for art and design.
There are a lot of great causes in the world to support. We think there needs to be. Everyone has different passions and we all need to act on them. What makes Collaborative World unique is that our cause, simply put, is the non-profit. We exist for them. We exist so that everyone can support what our partners are doing. Hopefully buying a t-shirt only inspires that person to find what they care about and how they can give towards it.
Co-Profit Fashion Business
Bianca — February 14, 2012 — Social Good