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Matthew Clough, Founder of Stone + Cloth (INTERVIEW)

Ethical Backpack Designer for Tanzania

— October 10, 2013 — Social Good
Matthew Clough of Stone + Cloth sat down and answered some questions for Social Business on how he got started as an ethical entrepreneur. Through his work, inspired by a journey to Africa, Matthew has forever changed the lives of children in Tanzania.

Check out the beautiful, sustainable products sold by Stone + Cloth on their website.

Four Questions with Matthew Clough

1. How did the idea for the business model come about?

Stone + Cloth was inspired by a trip I took to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. While descending from the summit, I learned that my porter, who was helping me get to the top, earns less than a dollar a day -- not enough to put a child through school. I was in school for design at the time, and wanted to put those skills to work. I designed a mountain-inspired backpack and your purchase helps provide a child with one week of school. We ask people to Carry an Education.

2. How did you decide to join this sector?

When I started the company, I knew very little about this sector. My skill-set was limited to design school. When I got started, I reached out to TOMS Shoes and ended up doing a few internships with them. They helped me out with the business model and really learned a lot from being there.

3. How do you get your inspiration?

I get inspiration through travel. I've learned that it's very rare for me to have a brilliant idea while sitting in front of my computer. The more I move, the more creative I am.

4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?

I've been really busy lately, and haven't made as much time for it, but always like spending the first hour of the day in silence. Either reading, writing, or just thinking. There is something about it that helps keep me energized throughout the day.