The living proof that you can be “green” without compromising your styles as a fashion icon.
Today words like “sustainability” and “CSR” are in vogue. This explains why many well-known companies, especially in the fashion industry, camouflage their unethical affairs through greenwashing. However, in the twenty-first century, it is not that easy to fool the so-called digital natives (take note!), as we hold the world, literally, just a click away. Understanding whether a company has turned green simply because it was the next fashionable thing to do is easy to discover, but if a brand was operating in a sustainable way before the #sustainability wave invaded your Instagram feed, then this is a good sign!
When the concept of Goooders was initially developed, being sustainable was definitely not at the first place in a CEO’s mind and, for this reason, we had the honour to interview Eva Geraldine, the founder of the lifestyle concept Goooders, whose mission is “to redefine what it means to wear our values, look fantastic, help ethical brands thrive and save the planet at the same time”. Eva Geraldine knows what she is talking about when it comes to the fashion industry. Her background as a stylist and fashion editor in New York City built up her flawless taste and this is probably the reason why at Goooders you will never find an out-of-date item. But Goooders does not simply sell fashionable loungewear or jewellery, as it comes with the full package of sustainability and consciousness. And this is just the first good reason why you should learn more about the Goooders reality.
The issue with the fashion industry, as Eva pointed out, is that, especially in the past, it lacked awareness and consciousness for what concerned environmental and ethical issues, but on the other hand, sustainability-conscious shops did not offer fashionable items. Consumers had always to deal with this sort of trade-off, which did not maximize their welfare, and, from an economic standpoint, it did not increase demand. Goooders has been the solution to this gap in the market as it offered to customers greener alternatives, always considering the aesthetic factor. Moreover, the concept developed by Eva focused for the first time on the consumer. Indeed, when we hear about sustainable brands or well known Maison converting themselves into eco-friendly businesses, their focus is on improving their production process, purchasing sustainable raw materials or changing unethical labour practices, while consumer’s demand moves to the background. Goooders, instead, has revolutionized this convention by shedding light on the consumer and focusing on his/her desire. The latter is the starting point from which Goooders adapt to satisfy its clientele’s demand.
Another good reason to be part of the Goooders community is that the products, and tips, that you will find on their website are based on the three founding principles of the company: beautiful, meaningful and sustainable. In fact, Goooders’ idea is to inspire people to live more consciously, by acquiring products that are sustainable and have a story-telling behind them. T-shirts, bags, skincare and all the items available for e-commerce are the results of projects that Goooders carries out with different communities. Jewelleries are mostly produced by a community of women in Burkina Faso, another community of Indian women who have been scarred with acid make turbans, while many other items are produced with the help of “Cooperativa Alice”, a cooperative which helps women in jail to get reintegrated in the society. These are just a few examples of the very diversified projects carried out by Goooders and available to everyone. Sometimes Goooders provides the design of the products, while on other occasions the brand sees the potential of local artisans and commissions them to some collections. In any case, Goooders provides workers support for their activities in different ways: firstly the brand offers a show-off for the artisans’ products, allowing them to penetrate a consolidated market; secondly, Goooders never applies exclusivity policies, as their mission is the one to provide support to local communities; finally, the brand offers free consultancy to artisans for what concerns the design and quality of their products, to align their production to the standards of the industry.
When we asked Eva about the distribution channel of the company, she explained to us that during the pandemic, Goooders has opened its e-commerce channel, since, before Covid-19, the brand used to sell solely through pop-up stores placed in luxurious hotels. The pandemic allowed Goooders to increase its customer loyalty, by permitting those consumers already aware of the brand to continue purchasing online, but also to increase notably its customer base and brand awareness. As Eva specified, Covid did something good in terms of sustainability, as it allowed people to rediscover their need to stay in contact with nature, supporting the environment which had, with the pandemic, some breath of relief. Moreover, the online platform enables Goooders to further adhere to its core values, as all the purchased products come with 100% plastic-free packaging and the brand is about to launch a new project where for every checkout a tree will be planted.
It would be legitimate, then, asking why businesses continue to misbehave, in terms of ethics and sustainability, when they could simply implement more environmentally and community-friendly policies. One of the most significant reasons is that, in Italy, the State does not provide any kind of aid or support for these types of businesses. The State favours the start-ups/companies involved in sustainable tech or basing their business model wholly on sustainability. A “hybrid” brand like Goooders, which focuses on sustainability but also (being a for-profit) sells items is still hard to identify for the Government and, consequently, do not receive any support. This mechanism disincentivizes companies willing to be greener, cancelling out all the efforts made to raise awareness of sustainability. The idea that should be conveyed is that any improvement/effort is more than welcomed, as the long-term aim is always the same: safeguarding our planet and its citizens. However, due to numerous limitations and criteria, nowadays there are still many businesses that do not receive facilitation and face several financial threats. Indeed, although it should be clear that the financial report does not represent the business as a whole, it still compromises its survival. To stimulate companies to operate in a more environment and community-friendly way, the Government should assess through more comprehensive criteria their business models, to provide them with the aid required to maintain their operations as green as possible.
Before leaving Eva, who at the moment of the interview had just returned from Africa where she was taking care of new projects, we asked her the greatest advice she would give to a Bocconiano. Her answer was simple but meaningful: “Always keep in mind what your mission is. If your mission is to be sustainable, never make a compromise, but reason, instead, in terms of it, as your mission will be the guideline to go through the ups and downs of your path”.
If you want to learn more about Goooders community, here is the link of the website: https://goooders.com/ and their IG page: @goooders_